Rose initially thought this beetle was dead. She picked it up to get a closer look and it flopped its abdomen …and flopped right out of her hand! Gently pick up a click beetle and 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.
The Green Click Beetle, also called the Resplendent Click Beetle, is relatively common, but usually only encountered as a single individual. A map of iNaturalist observations will give you a good idea of their range. Larvae are predators in peat and moist, loamy soils.
Photo by: Rose Marchak on 8/14/21 in Missoula, MT