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Click beetle

The family Elateridae is commonly called click beetles (or "typical click beetles" to distinguish them form the related Cerophytidae and Eucnemidae), elaters, snapping beetles, spring beetles or "skipjacks". They are a cosmopolitan beetle family characterized by the unusual click mechanism they possess. There are a few closely-related families in which a few members have the same mechanism, but all elaterids can click. A spine on the prosternum can be snapped into a corresponding notch on the mesosternum, producing a violent "click" which can bounce the beetle into the air. Clicking is mainly used to avoid predation, although it is also useful when the beetle is on its back and needs to right itself. There are about 9300 known species worldwide.


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Taken on June 28, 2009