Currently viewing the category: "Click Beetles"
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WHAT IS THIS?????????
Location: Denfield, ON Canada
July 21, 2011 6:31 am
I noticed this on the sidewalk yesterday. It was about 2 inches long. I have never seen anything this big or unique looking – any ideas what it is and where it could have come from?
sorry the picture is a little blurry!
Signature: Krissy

Eyed Elater

Hi Krissy,
Because of its large size, bold coloration, extensive range, and distinctive eyespots, the Eyed Elater is one of our most common summer identification requests.

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Rare Bug from NJ
Location: Woodbine, NJ
July 13, 2011 10:31 am
Hello and thanks for taking the time to possibly identify this strange looking bug from the attached pic. We found it yesterday in Woodbine, NJ in a wooded area. It hops around like a cricket.
Signature: Frank Petka

Eyed Elater

Hi Frank,
If identification requests that we receive are any indication, Eyed Elaters are not rare.  We actually have them tagged as one of our Top 10 identification requests.  Eyed Elaters are Click Beetles, and the hopping you describe is the beetle’s ability to right itself if it finds itself on its back.  It can snap its body and flip in the air, producing an audible clicking sound.  The eyespots on the Eyed Elater are a defense mechanism to frighten large predators like birds who might mistake it for a larger creature than the bite sized morsel it actually is.  We are post dating this letter to go live to our site over the weekend while we are out of the office.

Amazing response time…thanks so much…that was awesome. I will spread the word about your great site!
Regards,
Frank

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what is this
Location: kansas
July 9, 2011 10:54 pm
Curious what bug this is? It has been over 100 degrees here in central Kansas. Just noticed them over the last couple weeks. Thanks
Signature: kansas

Click Beetle

Hi kansas,
This is a Click Beetle in the family Elateridae, a large family with many similar looking species.  They are called Click Beetles because of their ability to snap their body to right themselves if they wind up on their backs, an action that produces an audible clicking sound.  Click Beetles are harmless, though some species are agricultural pests.  The larvae of Click Beetles are called Wireworms, and there are several species of Click Beetles, collectively called the Corn Wireworm, that damage young corn plants.  This Penn State website and this Purdue University website both have helpful information on the destructive Wireworm species.

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Queen something?
Location: Pasadena, California
June 20, 2011 11:24 am
Found this crawling across the floor of my kitchen this morning, sort of trundling along dragging its long rear end behind it. About 3” long. Photos taken after it was thoroughly drowned in RAID….
Signature: Creeped Out

Female Click Beetle

Dear Creeped Out,
While we are not certain of the exact identity of this unfortunate creature, we are relatively certain of two things.  First, it appears to be a beetle in the order Coleoptera, and second, it is probably predatory and drowning it with Raid constitutes Unnecessary Carnage.  We are not certain if this is a larva.  We feel more confident that it is a larviform adult.  Females of some beetles resemble larvae.  This might be a Rove Beetle in the family Staphylinidae, or perhaps it is a female Glowworm in the family Phengodidae, or perhaps it is something we are not considering.  We are going to try to get a second opinion on this creature.

Several of my friends suggested termite queen… so, glad it’s not that, at least. :)
Sorry about the unnecessary carnage. I’ll try to have my husband take some better pictures when he gets home tonight (I left the bug under a plastic cup in case the RAID didn’t actally kill it.  Yes, I’m that squeamish about bugs.)  ;P

Hmmm.  Termite Queen might actually be correct in which case we would retract the Unnecessary Carnage tag.  The antennae don’t seem correct for a Termite.  Again, we are waiting for a second opinion.

Yeah, the head seems kinda pointy.  I’ll get Jeff to photo it with a real camera/lens tonight, that should help.

Eric Eaton Responds
Daniel:
Ah, that is that wingless female click beetle!  Wait a sec….Euthysanius lautus is the species, looking at Art Evans’ book, A Field Guide to Beetles of California.  Here’s a link:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/27029
Ok, so I am not sure if E. lautus is the only species with a wingless female….
Thanks!
Eric

Ed. Note:
Interestingly, we have posted images of the male of the species both in our archives and on BugGuide.

Yup!  Here’s one that looks very similar:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/27029/bgimage
Thank you!  Relieved it’s not the world’s largest termite. And they’re slow-moving enough that if I see another one I will hopefully have the guts to trap and release rather than nuking from a safe distance.
However, I’m kind of hoping they stay outside to start with…

Female Click Beetle

Please don’t post this link directly on the website, since it isn’t permanent, but we took some better photos last night in case you or the bugguide could use them at all:
Thanks again for your help!
(I don’t suppose you know what the juveniles look like?  I woke up this morning with a tiny beetle on my pillow.  Probably unrelated, but then again perhaps the invasion has begun!)

Female Click Beetle

Hi again,
Thanks for the additional photos.  Immature Click Beetles are known as Wireworms, and they do not resemble beetles.

Female Click Beetle

 

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crazy beetle (?) on our deck this AM
Location: Allendale, Michigan
June 18, 2011 8:00 am
Hi. What a great website!
We found the following bug on our deck this morning, and were hoping that you could satisfy the curiosity of an inquisitive 3 year old (and his dad.)
Thank you.
Signature: Eric and Calder Sikkema

Eyed Elater

Hi Eric and Calder,
If you two would like a little additional entertainment, try flipping this Eyed Elater on its back.  It can snap its body in such a manner that it can propel itself into the air with an audible click, flipping over so that it lands on its feet, indicating that it is a member of the Click Beetle family Elateridae.

Thank you very much for your reply.  we dug a little deeper into your site and identified it, but only after we sent our email.  Thank you again.
Eric and Calder

It was nice to hear you were able to self identify.

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RE a previously unidentified brown beetle
Location: South East Michigan
June 17, 2011 11:15 am
Greetings Bugman,
I wrote, yesterday I think it was, about a large number of brown beetles that had found there way into my home. And though I had tried to identify them via my normally reliable resources, I had alas be left in the dark.
Since I have written that letter I have spent several hours browsing your site, as well as observing my most recent visitor. We captured it in a zippered sandwich bag the closest clear object at the time of its discovery… and at one point my daughter had flipped the bag over landing the creature on its back. It struggled for several seconds trying to right its self and then a pop came from the bag, the plastic shuddered slightly and suddenly it was right side up again! Eager to see this again we duplicated it several times and even completely grossed my husband out with it.
Having discovered this new distinction I started searching the web and found the term ”click beetle” but no picture to accompany it so I brought the term to your sight and low and behold I found an entry for a black click beetle! It looks exactly like mine with the only difference being the color (mine is brown).
The mystery of what is attracting them into our house has still got me cleaning like a nut and sealing all our dry goods in zippered plastic bags. Any suggestions that would lead their cuiriosity elsewhere would be apreciated.
Though it seems that since I’ve been holding the one for observation the rest have stayed hidden.
Thank you again,
Signature: Long Time Entomology Enthusiast (SB)

Click Beetle

Dear SB,
Your email has us positively charmed.  We love the initiative you took to correctly identify your Click Beetle.  Alas, we do not have the necessary skills to identify your beetle to the species level as many Click Beetles in the family Elateridae look very similar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination