There are nearly 1,000 species of click beetles (family Elateridae) in North America. If you’ve never seen a click beetle and have wondered how they got their name, just gently pick one up …you’ll soon know why. You’ll not only hear the clicking sound they make, you’ll see your little friend launch into the air. These beetles have a special spine on the underside of their thorax. They use their muscles to arch their bodies, insert the spine into a special groove, and then continue to contract their muscles until the spine eventually pops out of the groove with enough released energy to send the beetle flying. They use this “click” to hopefully avoid being eaten by something and to right themselves in case they end up on their back.
Photo by Glenn Marangelo on 5/25/20 in Pattee Canyon near Missoula, MT