Click Beetles (Elateridae)

The click beetles form a very homogeneous family including more than 7000 species distributed worldwide. These are long-shaped insects, with a short head strongly imbedded in the prothorax.

Anchastus compositarum. SAINTE-HELENE, 1983.Tetralobus flabellicornis. BURUNDI, 1970.Chalcolepidius sp. GRENADINES DE GRENADE, 1990.

Their color pattern is usually dark. Nevertheless, some species are decked with bright-colored spots or patterns or are adorned with metallic colors. The genus Pyrophorus, which lives in Central America, has luminous organs on the pronotum, emitting a bright light; women put them into their hair as jewelry.

Pyrophorus noctiluca. SAINT-VINCENT, 1979.Alaus oculatus. BELIZE, 1995.

Click beetles are able, once on their back, to perform jumps of many centimeters height. This behaviour is useful for returning to a "normal" upright position, but also for confusing predators.

Larvae are cylindrical and very chitinized. They have very various ways of life: some can be found in the ground, eating roots, tubers and become in this very harmful to crops (larvae of pest species are called "wireworms"). Others develop in rotted and more or less spongy wood of ill or dead trees, or in the mould of old trees hollows.

Adults can be found on flowers, low plants, trees, under stones, in sand on the banks, in the dry hollows of old trees. Some species are crepuscular or nocturnal.