Click Beetle Facts
Click Carpet Beetle Behavior
Click beetles earned their curious monikers from an acrobatic trick they perform when threatened by predators. Click beetles, when touched, fall dramatically on their backs and play dead. In order to right themselves after imminent threats pass, click beetles hook special spines into notches on their abdomens. Releasing the spines produces a clicking sound, propelling the beetles into the air, sometimes several inches.
Click beetles are nocturnal and are attracted to exterior lights at night. They may wander indoors, but do not threaten to infest homes or cause structural damage. Click beetles are a plant feeder, so they can also damage crops by eating leaves. Click beetle larvae, also known as wireworms, are armed with a hard exoskeleton and live underground for two to six years, wreaking havoc on the seeds, underground stems and roots of crops.
A North American species called the Eyed Elator click beetle can be larger than 1.75 inches and sport black and white spots on their backs that look like eyes. One genus, Pyrophorus, lives in the tropical Western Hemisphere and emits a greenish and red-orange light. A grouping of several of these lit up beetles can provide sufficient light for reading and has also provided enough lighting to perform surgeries in emergency situations.