Common Name: Click Beetle
Range: Click Beetles are found all through the world in warmer climates and in the highly vegetation areas. In Costa Rica they can be seen everywhere.
Size: The Click Beetle range in length from 2 – 3 inches (5 – 7.5 cm). The average length is 18mm. Mostly, they are black or brown.
Weight: They weigh up to 0.8 oz (22.7 g)
Diet: They are nocturnal .Adults Click Beetle eats pollen and nectar from flowers. Their Larvae eat roots of plants. But most adults are leaf eaters.
Average life span: The life span of a Click Beetle is between 2-5 years in the wild.
Habitat : The Click Beetle is attracted to lights often seen around lights at night. They can be found all over the world in warmer climates and in the areas of high vegetation. They are available in the tropical dry forest in the north West of Costa Rica in Guanacaste province.
Breeding/Reproduction: The Click beetle lives in the soil and goes through from 4 stages of development. They lay eggs that become larva and pupa and later they become an adult. The female places her eggs at the bottom of the plants. Once the egg emerges into larva, they have thin cylindrical hard wiry body and are known as wire-worm. They live up up to 4 years in this phase and after that period they become an adult. They take cover in the ground in the winter season.
Elateridae is a family of insects which is commonly called Click Beetle. There are almost 9000 species of Click Beetles found throughout the world. Out of these 9000 species only 61 are formerly found in Costa Rica. Many claim that there are 218 more species of Click Beetles found in Costa Rica but they are not in the records.
They are usually of small size with no attractive colors; but some of them are very colorful. There are mostly less than 2 cm in length. They are of brown and black colors but some of them have bright colors as well. They can be found in green, yellow, blue, orange, pink, red and other bright colors. The size of the female Click Beetle is a little larger than the male Click Beetle. Thus, the males and females can be distinguished. They are found active in daytime and they rest at night.
They perform different types of activities while mating. For example they may vibrate the thing on which they are standing before mating. It is quite unusual that they will not mate at all if they do not perform these types of activities.
Click Beetle lay their eggs near the base of the plants and cover them with mud for protection. They lay dozens of eggs. The eggs require a few weeks to hatch and then a larvae comes out which becomes an adult in 4 years. The larvae do not have wings and have a segmented body. It is approximately 13-17 mm long. Their segments are shiny. After some days of hatching the larvae pupate in the soil and come out after a few weeks. Different species require different time to complete their generation.
They are often found stuck to the plants. They get their food from plants and remain in it throughout their life. They feed on nectar, pollen, stem and other parts of the plant. They are quite harmful to crops and farmers in Costa Rica kill them in order to save their crops. Most of the species feed on plants but there are some exceptions. Some of the species eats harmless pesticides as well.
They use their clicks to scare their predators and protect themselves. Some of the species can also fly and some of them can also produce light. The light they produce is often more than that of fireflies found in Costa Rica. But they can be distinguished due to different body structure and habitat.
Click Beetle are not considered endangered. They are still present in great quantities. In Costa Rica they can be seen everywhere.
It has a unique quality that when a predator approaches it, it lays down pretending to be dead and does so until the predator goes away. This acting saves it from predators as it seems as a piece of wood while pretending to be dead. But sometimes it jumps and produces a sound of “click”. This click sound scares the predators and stops it from attacking the Click Beetles.