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Luminescent Click Beetle (Deilelater physoderus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Luminescent Click Beetle

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Image Credit: Don E. from FL
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The Luminescent Click Beetle has all the options: glowing body parts, sound production, gymnastic ability and wings for flight.

Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
If ever there was a beetle made for a circus, it would be the Luminescent Click Beetle. It may look like any other brown beetle to most, but this humble-looking insect can do a myriad of tricks other insects can't. Look for its long brown body and two yellowish-white spots, one each on the outer edges of the thorax, when trying to identify it.

Like Fireflies, this beetle has light-producing organs. These organs are under the insect and give it a blue-green glow. Bioluminescence is not widespread in the insect world, so having it makes the Luminescent Click Beetle special. Because it is a member of Elateridae, it is able to snap a spine-like appendage against its chest which creates a 'click' or snapping noise as well as elevation. This feature allows the beetle to flip itself should it ever get turned onto its back. It also helps it quickly move away from threats like predators. The 'jump' can be quite high (about 10cm, or 6 inches) for such a small creature. This beetle can also fly, like all beetles. This collection of abilities makes the Luminescent Click Beetle extraordinary.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Jumping insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Elateridae
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          Genus: Deilelater
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            Species: physoderus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Deilelater physoderus
Other Name(s): Jacknife Beetle
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 24mm (0.59" to 0.94")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown
Descriptors: dusty, click, snap, jump, flip, light, iridescent, glowing, neon, firefly, flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 15mm (0.6in) and 24mm (0.9in)
Lo: 15mm
Md: 19.5mm
Hi: 24mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
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State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
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State of Maine graphic
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State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
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State of South Carolina graphic
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State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Luminescent Click Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Luminescent Click Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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