Currently viewing the category: "Click Beetles"
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Subject: Yet another ’bug’ from Uganda
Location: Uganda, Albert Basin
March 16, 2013 2:30 am
Hi, there are many of these where I am in Albert Basin.
From browsing I’m assuming its a Longhorn with ’pectinate’ antennae. Curious to know the species name.
Any suggestions welcome.
Signature: Kay

Click Beetle

Click Beetle

Hi Kay,
This is a Click Beetle in the family Elateridae.  We don’t know if we will be able to determine a species identification.  African insects, unless they are species valued by folks who amass collections of “showy” insects for decorative collections, are often very difficult to find information about on the internet.  No Click Beetle on the Beetles of Africa site resemble your beetle, nor do any examples on Afripics.  Some parts of the world have more information available on species, and they tend to be places where natural history is valued, like Japan and Australia.  Here is a Click Beetle with pectinate antennae from Japan, a Click Beetle from Thailand with pectinate antennae and even a Click Beetle from our own Mount Washington Los Angeles offices that we had a very difficult time trying to identify.  Hopefully we our our readers will be able to provide at least a genus level identification.  We would bet that your beetle is a male that uses those impressive antennae to help “sniff out” a mate.

Click Beetle

Click Beetle


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Click Beetle??
Location: Blancio Claylick, Madre de Dios, Peru
March 12, 2013 8:32 am
Is it possible to id this beetle (Click beetle??) to specie-level?
Photo taken November 9, 2009
Signature: Kristian

Click Beetle

Click Beetle:  Semiotus sanguinicollis

Hi Kristian,
Wow, this is a beautiful beetle, and we agree that it appears to be a Click Beetle in the family Elateridae.  We don’t know if we will be able to come up with a species ID as the morning is passing and we must catch a train.  We found a match identified as
Semiotus sp, but we are having trouble linking to the siteInsect Sale lists it as Semiotus sanguinicollis.  The University of South Dakota website confirms that the genus is correct.

Click Beetle

Click Beetle: Semiotus sanguinicollis

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: found
Location: jackson,, mississippi 39212
January 24, 2013 5:52 pm
While I was chopping wood I. Found the strangest insect.
Signature: Abraham White

Eyed Elater

Dear Abraham,
You didn’t clarify if you found this Eyed Elater among the wood, or if it was found upon splitting wood.  We needed to research something about the larval stage of the Eyed Elater,
Alaus oculatus, the largest North American Click Beetle, and this is what we learned on BugGuide:  “Larvae are predatory, eating grubs of wood-boring beetles like cerambycids (longhorns).”  BugGuide then provides this information on the life cycle:  “Eggs are laid in soil. Larvae predators of beetle larvae in decaying wood, especially hardwoods. Pupation is in unlined cell underground or in rotting wood.”  That would indicate that you would only find the Beetles among rotting wood, and not viable fire wood.  When Click Beetles wind up on their backs, like in your second photo, they are able to flex their bodies, producing an audible click, and the snapping action propels the Click Beetle into the air, often righting itself when it lands.

Eyed Elater on its back


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
July 21, 2012
As a prelude to National Moth Week, the Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance partnered with What’s That Bug? by hosting a Moth Night in Elyria Canyon Park on the weekend before the official start of National Moth Week in order to accommodate the busy schedules of hosts Julian Donahue and Daniel Marlos.  Since National Moth Week is about moths and diversity, we took this opportunity to educate those in attendance about the wealth of nocturnal life in Elyria Canyon Park.  Julian, Kathy, Lauri and Daniel arrived just before 7 PM and opened the gate so that visitors could take advantage of the event by driving into an area that is normally closed to motor vehicles.  Setting up for the event involved getting power to thre
e distinct sites for attracting moths with different light sources:  black or ultraviolet bulbs, incandescent bulbs and mercury vapor bulbs, and these preparations were made before sunset.

Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar displaying osmeterium

Just as Julian finished setting up the black light he was running off his vehicle battery, the first guest walked up.  Darlene from Torrance had arrived before us and while checking out the life in the park, she discovered the Caterpillar of an Anise Swallowtail as well as three eggs on the wild fennel.  Darlene, an avid fan of insects, continued to capture creatures in her viewing box and her most notable finds of the day and night included a Flower Fly larva, a female Bush Katydid, a mating pair of invasive exotic African Painted Bugs, a Checkered Beetle and a winged male Sand Cockroach.  Young Julian captured a specimen of Arboreal Click Beetle with unusual feathered antennae.

The early arrivals for Moth Night approximately 8 PM

The earliest folks to arrive got a quick tour of the beginnings of the butterfly garden that the beautification committee is planting thanks to a generous grant from the North American Butterfly Association (NABA).  Gathering folks together for a group photo is kind of like trying to herd cats, but we did manage to get a few organized group shots of most of the people who arrived just before sunset.  Julian began by giving an overview of moths, their place in the ecosystem, how to attract them and then took questions from the eager crowd.  People continued to explore the park on their own while there was still light and the youngsters started catching insects in the bottles that were provided so that they could be identified.  Refreshments were provided by MWHA Hospitality VP Susanne Brody.

Folks begin to hunt for insects and other small creatures

A skunk wandered from the nursery behind the red barn into the meadow just as darkness began to fall and this generated quite a bit of excitement.  Then the moths and other insects began to arrive to the various light sources that were designed to attract them.

Black Light and Incandescent Light area

Julian explained earlier that the best nights for mothing with lights are warm, humid, calm and moonless.  Alas, the only desirable condition we had was the fact that there was a new moon.  A slight breeze and cooler conditions prevailed, but we were still graced with a variety of geometrids, pyralids, noctuids, tortricids, acrolophids, and tineids as well as some interesting beetles, mayflies and lacewings.  Fun was had by all of the approximately 35 people who attended Moth Night in Elyria Canyon Park.

Collecting around the mercury vapor bulb





What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug mimicry at its finest
Location: Old Rag Mountain, Sperryville VA
July 7, 2012 11:45 am
This bug (it’s not photoshopped I swear) obviously survived by confusing predators with its coloration but I have no idea what kind of insect it is.
Signature: Curious in VA

Mating Eyed Elaters

Dear Curious in VA,
These are mating Eyed Elaters, a species of Click Beetle.  You are astute to notice that the false eyes a good deterrent to predators who might mistake the Eyed Elaters for a threat.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black and Orange Beetle
Location: West Valley City, Utah
May 19, 2012 10:55 am
Found this bug at my preschool in West Valley City Utah and we were wondering what it is. It was about 1/3 in long.
Signature: Head Start Preschool

Click Beetle we believe

Dear Head Start Preschool,
Our first impression was that this might be a Metallic Borer Beetle or Jewel Beetle in the family Buprestidae, and our second choice would be a Click Beetle in the family Elateridae.  We had no luck identifying as belonging to either Buprestidae or Elateridae on BugGuide.  This identification request requires additional research.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist.

Update:  August 12, 2012
Thanks to a comment from mardikavana, we now know that this Click Beetle is
Ampedus cordifer which we have located on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination