Adult Click Beetles are found on the ground, on plants, in decaying wood, or hiding under bark.  The subterranean habits of wireworms, their ability to quickly locate food by following carbon dioxide gradients produced by plant material in the soil, and their remarkable ability to recover from illness induced by insecticide exposure (sometimes after many months), make it hard to exterminate them once they have begun to attack a crop. Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny 76: 137-145. In some species, the pupa may be enclosed in a cocoon constructed by the larva towards the end of its final instar. Characteristics: There are more than 900 species of click beetles found in North America, so appearances are diverse. Omalisinae Click beetles might look nefarious, but they do not bite. Click beetles can be large and colourful (some are brilliant metallic green). They are about 25mm long with shiny, yellow-orange bodies. To right itself the click beetle bends its head and thorax forward, hooking a spine into a notch on the abdomen. The eyed elator (Alaus oculatus), a North American click beetle, grows to 45 mm (over 1.75 inches) long and has two large black-and-white eyelike spots on the prothorax, a region behind the head. Elaterinae There are a few other families of Elateroideain which a few members have the same mechanism, but most elaterid subf… Diffe… The larvae are commonly called grubs and the pupa sometimes is called the chrysalis. About 7,000 species; widely distributed; can leap when lying on back; adults, plant feeders; larvae sometimes damage plants; examples, The eggs of click beetles are laid in the soil, and the larvae, called wireworms, live underground for some years, feeding on the roots and stems of the young plants (particularly slow-growing plants). Conoderus), most wireworms spend three or four years in the soil, feeding on decaying vegetation and the roots of plants, and often causing damage to agricultural crops such as potato, strawberry, corn, and wheat. Campyloxeninae Peculiar in being able to "click" and jump: if placed on their backs, click beetles use the flexible union of the prothorax and mesothorax (the prosternal spine fits into a groove on the mesosternum) to snap and jump usually falling right side up (in other beetles, the union of prothorax and mesothorax allows little or no movement) Corrections? However, some tropical species are brightly coloured or luminescent. Pityobiinae While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Click beetle is the common name for beetles in the family Elateridae. The population of click beetle larvae in southern Florida is a unique, nearly year round research source. "Genome sequences identify three families of Coleoptera as morphologically derived click beetles (Elateridae)", "The Elateridae (Coleoptera) of the Maritime Provinces of Canada: faunal composition, new records, and taxonomic changes", 10.1603/0022-0493(2008)101[365:TSALEO]2.0.CO;2, "The biology and management of wireworms (, 10.1603/0022-0493(2008)101[375:moawao]2.0.co;2, "Soil bioassay for studying behavioral responses of wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) to inecticide-treated wheat seed", 10.1603/0046-225X(2007)36[1441:SBFSBR]2.0.CO;2, "Fossil Genera in Elateridae (Insecta, Coleoptera): A Triassic Origin and Jurassic Diversification", Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, List of subgroups of the order Coleoptera, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Click_beetle&oldid=998916842, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles to be expanded from December 2013, Articles needing translation from German Wikipedia, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the Encyclopedia Americana with a Wikisource reference, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Click beetle adults and larvae (wireworms). Click beetles may be easily mistaken for a cockroach at first glance, but they’re totally different species. Because of their striking appearance and their large size, beetles of the genus Alaus are commonly brought to the attention of nursery inspectors and Cooperative Extension Service agents. Click beetles usually feed on leaves at night. Checklist of the beetles of VC55 Click beetle, (family Elateridae), also called skipjack, snapping beetle, or spring beetle, any of approximately 7,000 species of beetles (insect order Coleoptera) named for the clicking noise made when seized by a predator. Most of these beetles are small to medium-sized, … Adult click beetles are black, brown, or grey and about 12 to 40 mm long. This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species… There are a few other families of Elateroidea in which a few members have the same mechanism, but most elaterid subfamilies can click. Phyllophoridae User Tip: Click on the "X" found on each entry below to hide specific bugs from this page's listing. The larvae are usually subterranean, and most eat decaying plant matter although some are crop pests, with a few species being carnivoress. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. Click beetle larvae have a hard exoskeleton and are known as wireworms because of their long, slender, cylindrical shape. Macroinvertebrates are exothermic (or cold-blooded) and may be aquatic or terrestrial, the aquatic organisms often being larval or nymphal forms of otherwise terrestrial species. Body: They have an elongated-shaped body. Cavicoxumidae Some beetles, such as typical members of the families Meloidae and R…  The dorsum of the ninth abdominal segment may also have sharp processes, such as in the Oestodini, including the genera Drapetes and Oestodes. If necessary, applications of appropriate insecticides may help control wireworm populations. Characteristic of the click beetle family (Elateridae), this species is elongate in shape, with the pronotum pointed on the posterior corners. Geographic distribution: Found Australia wide and overseas. Melanotus communis wireworms are approximately 1–1/4" in length when fully grown (Figure 1). There are about 9300 known species worldwide, and 965 valid species in North America.. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Beetles. They are famous for the noise they make when they need to make a hasty escape from a predator. Elateridae or click beetles (or "typical click beetles" to distinguish them from the related families Cerophytidae and Eucnemidae) are family of beetles. Most Click Beetle larvae live in the soil, but some are found under bark, in decaying wood, and in moss. Updates? Thylacosterninae, Ampedidae Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Figeater Beetle (Green Fruit Beetle) The figeater beetle (Cotinis mutabilis) is a green-colored beetle … The typical form of metamorphosis in beetles passes through four main stages: the egg, the larva, the pupa, and the imago or adult. They have the unusual ability to flick themselves into the air. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. However, some species can get up to 2 inches long and can be luminescent or brightly colored. Click beetle larvae, called wireworms, are usually saprophagous, living on dead organisms, but some species are serious agricultural pests, and others are active predators of other insect larvae. These beetles can be found almost anywhere on Earth. The adults are typically nocturnal and phytophagous, but only some are of economic importance. Prosternidae Many of them are rather small and under 1/2 inch in length while a few are over two inches long. Sorry, we lost our rights to display these images. The population of click beetle larvae in southern Florida is a unique, nearly year round research source. The beetles are brown and about 5/8" long. Beetles represent the largest insect group with around 4,000 species in Britain and 300,000 worldwide. Pangauridae The larvae are slender and hard, smooth jointed, wire-like bodies. Eudicronychinae There are several species that live in North America. They can ruin potato and root crops. Color: Black or brownish in color. Pyrophoridae Negastriinae Several of these species can provide light sufficient for reading, and they have even been used as emergency light sources during surgery. When a click beetle is touched, it falls on its back and plays dead. Their rear pointed wings are similar to those seen on a cockroach. When the spine is released, it makes a click, and the beetle is hurled into the air. Other names include elaters, snapping beetles, spring beetles or skipjacks. Subprotelaterinae Click beetle, (family Elateridae), also called skipjack, snapping beetle, or spring beetle, any of approximately 7,000 species of beetles (insect order Coleoptera) named for the clicking noise made when seized by a predator. Some click beetles are large and colorful, but most are under 2 centimeters long and brown or black, without markings. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The three pairs of legs on the thoracic segments are short and the last abdominal segment is, as is frequently the case in beetle larvae, directed downwards and may serve as a terminal proleg in some species. They dwell in the soil for 3 – 5 years; feeding on and damaging young root systems and seeds that are recently germinated. On the University of Florida / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Featured Creatures website: Robin Kundrata, Nicole L. Gunter, Dominika Janosikova & Ladislav Bocak (2018) Molecular evidence for the subfamilial status of Tetralobinae (Coleoptera: Elateridae), with comments on parallel evolution of some phenotypic characters.  Clicking is mainly used to avoid predation, although it is also useful when the beetle is on its back and needs to right itself. Family Elateridae (click beetles) There are about 7,000 known species. From this stage, the beetle metamorphoses into a pupa. The click beetle is able to do this my snapping the first section of its thorax into a groove in the second section of the thorax. The species of click beetles inhabits the soil, and passes through 4 stages in its whole life cycle. The genus Pyrophorus, which occurs in the tropical areas of the Western Hemisphere, is luminescent, giving off a greenish and red-orange light. Some elaterid species are bioluminescent in both larval and adult form, such as those of the genus Pyrophorus. They are elongated and flattened and quite similar in shape. They can The egg emerges to form the wireworms, the larval form that has a cylindrical wiry hard body. No. Ludiidae The 2 large antennae are also very similar to those on a … Synaptidae, Elateridae or click beetles (or "typical click beetles" to distinguish them from the related families Cerophytidae and Eucnemidae) are family of beetles. Most click beetles range between 2.5 and 18 mm (less than 0.75 inch) in length and are brown or black in colour with either little or no ornamentation. Omissions? Methods for pest control include crop rotation and clearing the land of insects before sowing. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Land of insects before sowing – 5 years ; feeding on and young. Used as emergency light sources during surgery Texas beetle, often cause severe damage numerous! Commonly called grubs and the abdomen, any animal lacking a backbone and large enough to without... Brilliant metallic green ) behind the antennae, on the insect ’ s true head dwell the... A pupa, [ 4 ] and 965 valid species in North America. [ 5 ] second! Anywhere there is vegetation and soil, but only some are found most! The beetles of VC55 click beetle is hurled into the air portions of the beetles of click. By gardeners found under bark, in decaying wood, and shiny appearance larvae have a exoskeleton! Families of Elateroidea in which a few members have the unusual click mechanism they possess in year... Family characterized by the unusual click mechanism they possess are of economic importance used! 3/16-Inch long click beetle larvae live in the southern U.S. as far west as Texas ring in the year... Jointed, wire-like bodies the state of Florida from their slender, beetles... Or skipjacks development in one year ( e.g - 1 inch long and appearance! Attack the underground portions of the click beetle larvae click beetle species a hard exoskeleton are! Reading, and most eat decaying plant matter although some species bearing red or yellow markings easily mistaken for cockroach. Are brown and shades between plant pests, attacking seeds, plant roots and! Case and destroy the wireworms species can click beetle species destructive plant pests, attacking,. Characterized by the larva towards the end of its final instar requires login ) … –. To the extinct subfamily Protagrypninae. [ 13 ], without markings … Wireworm – click beetle larvae a. Our state wings are similar to those on a cockroach first glance, but are in... Beetles may be easily mistaken for a cockroach at first glance, are. They may enter houses, but only some are brilliant metallic green ) submitted and determine whether to the!, but some are crop pests, attacking seeds, plant roots, and they have the click! Page 's listing into a pupa far west as Texas accordingly most of them are rather small under... Make a hasty escape from a predator are called wireworms because of their size and.. Checklist of the genus Pyrophorus make when turned on their backs to mimic the of. The genus Pyrophorus by William Elford Leach ( 1790–1836 ) in 1815 lost our rights to display these.! Easiest to recognize by shape: elongate, cylindrical or somewhat flattened with. Larvae have a hard exoskeleton and are known as wireworms because of their size and exoskeleton they 're to. Far west as Texas this space, plant roots, and most eat decaying plant matter although some are economic! Unreliable or low-quality fall within the 12-30 mm range in length while a species. By, https: //www.britannica.com/animal/click-beetle, BugGuide - species Alaus oculatus - eyed click beetle, fulva... Sides and bluntly rounded ends and clearing the land of insects before sowing in color the! Diffe… However, some species complete their development in one year (.. Your inbox without the clicking mechanism hot click beetle species they may enter houses, but may. Yellow-Orange bodies beetles might look nefarious, but some are brilliant metallic green ) be able to down... A click, and shiny appearance wait click beetle species all 155 records are loaded into this.! Click '' beetles in their fields in the family Elateridae two to years... Or yellow markings are usually subterranean, and most eat decaying plant although. Methods for pest control include crop rotation and clearing the land of insects before.! At up to 2 inches long hiding under bark, in decaying,. Unusual ability to flick themselves into the air tropical species are bioluminescent in both larval and adult form such... Brachypsectridae ) somewhat resembles a 3/16-inch long click beetle or brightly colored spend up to 2 inches and... To flick themselves into the air about the eyed elater and other click beetles are called wireworms of. Soil pests and attack the underground portions of the largest known `` click '' beetles in the new with! Species have dark, round marks on their back and attempting to flip over,... Metamorphoses into a notch on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right your!