Driftless Prairies: Native Habitat Restoration

Nature inspires awe!

Elateridae (Click Beetles)

They derive their name from the clicking sound they make when disturbed. It sounds similar to the clicking of your fingers. This clicking comes from the beetles ability to “jackknife” into the air at incredible speed and force by contorting their thorax and prothorax; they jump about 8’ in a 1/2000th of a second – all this speed and force without using their legs!! This is great a defense mechanism.

Little is known about the feed habits of adults. The larvae, called wireworms, are found in leaf litter, soil, moss, and rotten wood. Those found in leaf litter and rotten wood tend to be predaceous while those found in the soil feed on roots.

Click beetles take 3 years to mature. Some of the smaller ones might have a shorter life cycle. They overwinter as adults. There are a few genera that overwinter as mature larvae.