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Family Elateridae - Click Beetles

Melanotus Click Beetle - Conoderus lividus Click Beetle - Melanotus click beetle - Gambrinus stigma Elateridae? - Athoplastus rainieri Pennsylvania Elaterid for ID - Hemicrepidius nemnonius Dark Brown Click - Parallelostethus attenuatus Dalopius vagus - Dalopius
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)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
see recent updates in (1)
Explanation of Names
Elateridae Leach 1815
see Elater
Numbers
~970 described valid spp. in our area + an estimated 75-100 undescribed(2); ~10,000 spp. in 400 genera worldwide(3)(4) arranged into 17 subfamilies(5)
Overview of our faunaTaxa not yet in the guide are marked (*); classification adapted from(7)(8)
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 to accommodate some species
Size
1-60 mm(2)
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(9)(2)
Southeastern fauna treated in (1)
Helpful image galleries include (10)(11)(12)(13)
Range
worldwide and throughout NA(2)
Habitat
Found in all but aquatic and the most severe arctic and alpine habitats(2): adults on flowers/vegetation or under bark; larvae in rotten logs or soil
Food
Larvae: mostly opportunistic predators. Some saprophagous on decay organisms such as myxomycetes, while soil dwelling species are generally predaceous or omnivorous. Agriotes, Limonius, some Melanotus sp., and Selatosomus sp. are herbivorous on sprouting seeds and roots of seedlings of grasses, and occasionally on roots and tubers of vegetables. Larvae are liquid feeders and possess extra-oral digestion.
Adults: Some are predaceous on soft-bodied sternorrhynchous insects and their honey-dew exudates, but many feed on overripe and decaying fruit, nectar, pollen, floral parts, and fungi.