Click Beetles (Elateridae)

(Category Beetles)

The family of Elateridae (Click Beetles) consists of 169 species in 51 genra in Europe. Elateridae is easily recognized by it's long shaped body and it's snap mechanism. There are various kinds of snap beetles with different sizes (3mm-18mm) and different colorings.

Click beetles have a very interesting mechanisim with which they are able to catapult themselves into the air. They are called "Click- or Snapping Beetles" because they make a chracteristic clicking sound when snaping into the air. To jump, the beetle bends his head back and then suddenly lets his head snap forward again. By doing this a thorn attached to the head snatches into a small pit in the thorax which shoots the whole beetle into the air (see the picture above of A. murina on it's back)

The snap mechanism has two purposes:
1. The beetle can flee from predators
Snap beetles aren't the fastest beetles and to avoid of getting eaten they usually play dead by holding their legs and antennae close to their body. If the predator still tries to eat the beetle, it snaps itself into the air to reach a save hiding place.

2. The beetle can turn itself around
Because of the large body and relatively shot legs click beetles have big problems to get back on their feet if they somehow land on their back. To solve this problem they "jump" in the air until they land on their feet.

Below the gallery of some Click Beetles:
Please notice the Licencing Information for these pictures!
(Click an image to enlarge it)