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checkered beetle

any of the approximately 3,000 species of the insect family Cleridae (order Coleoptera). Checkered beetles occur throughout the world, mainly in the tropics; the common name derives from their markings and coloration (orange, red, yellow, green, and blue). They range between 3 and 24 mm (110 to almost 1 inch) in length, with the majority between 5 and 12 mm (15 and 12 inch); they have long, slender legs and resemble ants. Adult checkered beetles, usually found on flowers, are camouflaged by their bright colours as they await or search for food, which consists of insects smaller than themselves.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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