small, black beetle-creatures that confound cats to no end. it's always funny to see a cat go to sniff a click beetle who is on its back, to have the bug at that moment choose to pop to try to right itself--right into the cat's nose. this leads to a cat jumping in the air and back-pedalling.

click beetles also lead to this conversation quite often:
*pop* "do you hear a funny *pop* popping noise?" "ummm... yeah." *pop* "what is it? the fluorescent light?" "no idea at all" *pop* *pop* "what the hell is that noise" *pop* *rowr!* "oh... click beetle. right." these creatures usually right themselves in one pop or two, but it carried on this time, for you see, the cat, amused, continued to turn the helpless beetle back on its back until it finally popped too close for comfort.

Click beetles are the adult stage of wireworm, a pest of corn seed. The click beetle itself does not harm corn.

They use a funny strategy to redirect potential predators.

First they play dead by pulling in their antenna and legs close to their bodies and staying still for long periods of time. If that doesn't work they "fit a spine from the underside of their thorax into a groove on the underside of their abdomen. If the insect finds itself upside-down, it arches its body and with a loud click, snaps itself straight, launching into the air." This startles the potential predator and gives the beetle a chance fly away in order to escape.

Yesterday I tried to show my little neighbor the magic of the click beetle. Darn thing just ignored all attempts to turn it on its back and elicit a click and finally flew away. I lost all my credability as the local, somewhat eccentric bug lady. Oh well, today I can show him the new praying mantis egg case in my azalea bush and win back some loyalty!

source: www.bugbios.com

SEF says they glow like fireflies!

Click" bee"tle (?). Zool.

See Elater.

 

© Webster 1913.

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