Thursday, April 30, 2009


This entry is devoted to the familiar click beetle, family Elateridae. Their clicking ability is derived from having a flexible junction between the prothorax and the mesothorax, which in beetles is normally fused, and there is a prosternal spine that fits into a groove on the mesosternum. The diagram below compares the ventral arrangement of a click beetle (A) with that of a metallic wood-boring beetle (B), which is of the family Buprestidae, featured in an earlier entry.

sp: prosternal spine; stn1: prosternum; stn2: mesosternum;

The shape of click beetles is very unique - the body is elongate, usually parallel-sided, and rounded at each end. The posterior corners of the pronotum are prolonged backward into sharp points or spines. Most of these beetles are 12mm-30mm in length, and one common species is a mottled-gray click beetle with two black eye spots. Most click beetles are black or brown. The larvae of click beetles generally live in rotting logs, and are slender, hard-bodied, and shiny - also called "wireworms." The adults are phytophagous, and so eat plant materials.

Coleoptera; Polyphaga; Elateroidea; Elateridae;
Common Name: Click Beetle

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