Common name:Click beetles
Number of species:73
Named after their ability to violently launch themselves backwards with a clicking noise (thought to be both an anti-predator defence and a self-righting mechanism), there are 73 species of click beetle in Britain. 3-20mm in length, most are black or brown, although Ampedus spp. have bright red elytra and Ctenicera spp. are metallic green or blue. Generally elongate, parallel-sided beetles, with unclubbed antennae and pointed pronotal hind angles, many fly readily and can be found at light or on feeding on flowers. Approximately half the group develop as larvae in the soil, and some (particularly Agriotes spp.) can be serious crop pests. The other half spend their larvae period in dead wood and under bark, where they are predators on the other invertebrate species found in such habitats.