Researchers have discovered that a particular group of insects' genes helped control their life span - a find that could give them insights into the human ageing process.
Melbourne researcher Damian Dowling conducted the study.
Depending on the genes the beetles had and their reproductive behaviour, some lived up to six days longer than others - significant in an average lifespan of 20 days.
"If you scaled up that finding to average human life expectancies, then we are possibly dealing with very large differences," The Age quoted Dowling as saying.
"Clearly, the genetic determinants underlying life expectancies are complex, but as we unravel this complexity we draw closer to the day where we might use the genetic information ... to assist with therapies that slow the onset of ageing in humans," he added.
The article is published in The American Naturalist.