Click Beetle (Melanotus spp.)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Click Beetle, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 2/15/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Click Beetles come in a variety of colors and patterns, but they are all slow walkers and quick to click and flip.
Click Beetles are slender, elongated beetles that do not harm people. Many are black, but species may also be brown, reddish brown and shades inbetween. They are famous for the noise they make when they need to make a hasty escape from a predator. A stiff spine on the anterior (belly) side of the beetle snaps with great force, propelling the beetle away from danger. This snap creates an audible click. The force is even strong enough to flip a beetle stuck on its back, back to its feet. An upside-down beetle is a helpless one so rapidly returning to an upright position can save its life.
Larvae of this genus of Click Beetles are called wireworms. They are skinny and feed on the roots and tubers of crops such as corn, potatoes and wheat. They are considered a pest as they move from plant to plant underground and may do so for years before pupating into adults.