Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Calendar
Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington

TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Family Elateridae - Click Beetles

Click Beetle - Conoderus bellus A Pretty Pale Click Beetle - Conoderus lividus Unknown Beetle - Parallelostethus attenuatus Click Beetle? - Agriotes Click Beetle - Dipropus Click Beetle - Limonius Elaterid - Limonius
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Elateriformia)
Superfamily Elateroidea (Click, Firefly and Soldier Beetles)
Family Elateridae (Click Beetles)
Other Common Names
Wireworms (larvae)
Explanation of Names
Elateridae Leach 1815
see Elater
Numbers
~970 described valid spp. in our area + an estimated 75-100 undescribed(1); ~10,000 spp. in 400 genera worldwide(2)(3) arranged into 17 subfamilies(4)
Overview of our faunaTaxa not yet in the guide are marked (*); classification adapted from(6)(7)
Family ELATERIDAE
Subfamily CEBRIONINAE
Subfamily AGRYPNINAE
Subfamily LISSOMINAE
Subfamily OESTODINAE Bladus · Oestodes
Subfamily DENDROMETRINAE
Subfamily NEGASTRIINAE
Subfamily ELATERINAE
Tribe Agriotini Subtribe Agriotina Agriotes · Dalopius • Subtribe Pomachiliina Idolus · Leptoschema • Subtribe Synaptina Glyphonyx
Tribe Ampedini Subtribe Ampedina Ampedus • Subtribe Dicrepidiina Blauta · Dicrepidius · Dipropus • Subtribe Melanotina Melanotus • Subtribe Physorhinina Anchastus · Physorhinus
Notes:
Ampedus: species with bicarinate pronotal hind angles are sometimes treated in Ectamenogonus Buysson 1893
Ctenicera: in NA, C. kendalli (Kirby) is the only species attributable to this genus; all other species cataloged in this genus are undergoing taxonomic review and will eventually get proper generic placement, with several new genera to be erected yet to accommodate some species (e.g., Ctenicera horni)
Size
1-60 mm(1)
Identification
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)
A key to NA genera provided in(8)(1)
Helpful image galleries include (9)(10)(11)(12)
Range
worldwide and throughout NA(1)
Habitat
Found in all but aquatic and the most severe arctic and alpine habitats(1): adults on flowers/vegetation or under bark; larvae in rotten logs or soil
Food
Adults usually eat plants. Larvae eat newly planted seeds, roots, etc., some eat other insects.