© Stuart M Bennett 2000
Athous haemorroidallis
(The Common Click Beetle)

This beetle belongs to a large family of over 7,000 species, about 60 of which live in Britain. All of the family are elongate, bullet shaped, and all have the ability to leap into the air to right themselves if they fall onto their backs, this action is accompanied by a loud click, hence the name.

If, as mentioned above, these beetles roll over on their backs when basking on the grass, they recover by suddenly flexing their bodies with a clicking noise as explained in the diagram below:

When the Click beetle falls on it's back it rights itself by somersaulting. It arches it's back so that a notch on the peg engage with a lip on the edge of the pit. Under the tension of the peg moving muscle the peg slams into the pit throwing the beetle up into the air, somettimes to a height of 12 inches

Many of the Click beetles, such as the one pictured above, live in the woodlands. Others such as Agriotes lineatus, have soil living larvae which are known as wireworms, and which are often confused with Centipedes.

The natural home of wireworms is under grass, but when this is plowed up , they can do considerable damage to the roots of crops which are planted later.

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