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Click Beetles

May 7th, 2015

Click Beetles

Click Beetles are long skinny beetles with grooves that run over their wing covers. Adult Click Beetles are 12-30 mm long, though a few species get up to 45 mm. The front of their heads and the back of their wing covers are rounded.

Unlike most beetles, the connection between the first and second section of the thorax is flexible, which means they can move their heads and first pair of legs separately from the rest of the body. This allows the bettles snap the two sections, making a loud click sound. They can also flip over as if they are lying on their backs.

There are a few closely related families in which a few members have the same mechanism, but all can click. A spine on the prosternum can be snapped into a corresponding notch on the mesosternum, producing a violent “click” that can bounce the beetle into the air. Clicking is mainly used to avoid predators. It is also useful when the beetle is on its back and needs to turn over. There are about 9300 known species worldwide and 965 in North America.

Click Beetle larvae are long and shiny. They have tough segmented bodies for protection. Unlike mealworms (which are larvae of another family of beetles) click beetle mouth parts point straight forward. So are Click bettles considered pest?  They certainly can be. Click Beetles eat the roots of numerous plant species especially in regions with a maritime and humid climate. Adults Click Beetles spend winter in the ground and emerge in the spring. Click Beetles fly only at night, and even that is rare, however, they are very active walkers. The underground parts of carrot, hop, tomato, onion, leek, chicory, lettuce, broad bean, ornamental plants or young trees can be seriously injured by click beetle infest. Consult yur local expterminator for advice on how to manage Click Beetles.

http://www.arbico-organics.com/product/click-beetle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_beetle

http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Elateridae/

 

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