Elateridae

Adults are 12-20 mm long, brown to dark brown, and usually with serrate antennae. Click beetles are named because of the spine on theprothorax thatsnaps into a groove on the mesoster-num with an audible click. This mechanism enables an adult lying on its back to throw itself into the air and land on its feet. Most adults are strong flyers and can be found on flowers during the day, and many fly to lights at night. Larvae are known as wireworms because of their long, narrow, andwell-sclerotized, brown bodies. Most species are phytophagous, but some are predators. Pyrophorous species have two light-producing spots on the posterior edge of the prothorax and one on the abdomen. Lightproduced from these organs is usually more intense than that of fireflies (Lampyridae). These beetles occur in southern USA and the tropics. Agriotes species are common in North America, the UK, Europe, and Asia, and adults often occur at lights at night. The larvae are pests of potato tubers; they excavate deep narrow tunnels in the tubers and can be carried into storage bins at harvest. The tunnels are secondarily infected by fungi and bacteria. Adults ofthe southern corn wireworm, Monocrepidius vespertinus (Fig. 5.2c), may be numerous during summer and often fly to lights at night.

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