Beetle, common name for any member of an order of insects, the most prominent characteristic of which are the elytra, the hardened, sheathlike front wings, which usually cover the entire abdomen when the insect is not in flight. In some beetles, such as the rove beetles, the elytra are short, covering only a portion of the abdomen. Some beetles are wingless. Beetles vary greatly in size. The largest is the Hercules beetle, which grows to 16 cm (up to 6.3 in) in length. Other species may be less than 0.1 cm (less than 0.04 in) long. Although they also vary greatly in form, their basic anatomical structures are similar.
The Hercules Beetle possesses Deflection Armor, which will randomly reflect creature-based ranged (but not artillery) attacks back at attackers. This can make them deadly against crowds of range-attacking units that would otherwise demolish melee creatures. Their ability to Hover quickly into bases combined with the Barrier Destroy bonus on their head makes them very dangerous to enemy structures, as well.