Morphology and Ethology
Like Beetles and Ice Beetles, Plated Beetles attack by ramming. Although their armored bodies are resistant to most weapons, Plated Beetles' abdomens are vulnerable to attack and are relatively brittle. Assuming Beetles live in a hierarchic community, these stronger variants could play the role of Alphas; they appear to be quite solitary, however, and prefer traveling alone instead of in groups like their smaller cousins. Interestingly, Ice Beetles do not have a Plated Beetle equivalent.
Samus first encounters a Plated Beetle as she approaches the Morph Ball upgrade in the Ruined Shrine. She is first attacked by a large group of Beetles, followed by the first Plated Beetle. Samus's suit prompts her to use Lock-On Orbiting to evade the Plated Beetle's quicker movement. Upon defeating the Plated Beetle, access to the Morph Ball and the slab of Chozo Lore behind it is granted. Plated Beetles become fairly common after Samus defeats Flaahgra, replacing groups of Beetles in various locations, such as the Main Plaza.
Metroid Prime Beta - Plated Beetle
An officially released screenshot of a scanned Plated Beetle shows various styles not present in the final version of the game. The scan visor style seems to have been dramatically changed before the final version. Additionally, the logbook scan for the Plated Beetle also has been expanded. Matching logbook images were lacking in the beta version, also the Energy bar and other HUD features were changed completely.
- "Well-armored burrowing insect. Vulnerable only in the rear abdomen.
Creature's thick cranial plating can repel frontal attacks. This gives it an advantage in combat, allowing it to make ramming attacks. Only surfacing when it detects vibrations above, it then maneuvers itself so as to always face its rival, keeping its exposed abdomen protected." — Logbook "Plated Beetle" (Metroid Prime)