Click beetles are a family of beetles known for the sound they produce while jumping – a violent click noise. There are around 9300 species in this family, with about 965 species in North America.
These beetles are separated into several subfamilies, which consist of several genera.
Size: 0.47-1.2 in (1.2-3 cm)
Color: Most specimens are black or brown, though some have been spotted with red and yellow patterns on their bodies.
Other Characteristic Features: They are long, with backward projections coming from the corners of the shield lying behind their pronotum.
They pretend to play dead when they are touched by falling on their elytra. Once safe, the beetle bends its head and thorax forward, causing its spine to hook into a notch on the abdomen. On release, it makes its characteristic “click” and hurls itself into the air.
The larvae of these beetles, nicknamed “wireworms”, are long, flat, and cylindrical. They move with the help of a set of thoracic legs and an elongated abdomen.
These larvae finish development within 1 year but stay underground for 3-4 years.
While underground, the beetles undergo pupation. In the pupal stage, they resemble adults resting.
The eggs are laid close to the soil, where the larvae can access the roots of the host plants after hatching.
|Other names||Elaters, snapping beetles, spring beetles, skipjacks, or typical click beetles.|
|Habitat||On dead or decayed plants or underground|
|Predators||Bats, beetles, birds, lizards, moles, shrews, and toads|
|Host Plants||Alfalfa, beans, beet, clover, corn, cotton, grasses, oat, and wheat|
|Diet of adults||Nectar, foliage, and other plant material|
The most damage caused by these beetles comes from the larval stage, as they feed on the roots of plants while underground. They are also very resistant to pesticides and can recover after a certain period.