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The Bugs of Bernheim: Click Beetles

By James Moody

Photo credit: Missouri Department of Conservation, Jim Rathert
Photo credit: Missouri Department of Conservation, Jim Rathert

Click Beetles are named after the noise they make when grabbed by a predator.  This amazing insect will fall onto its back after a confrontation with a predator and play dead.  In order to right itself, a Click Beetle will bend its head and chest forward, then place a spike in its chest into a hook in its abdomen.  Releasing the spine from the hook produces a clicking noise as well as propels the beetle into the air; the beetle is then able to land on its feet.

Some tropical species of Click Beetle emit a greenish as well as a red-orange light – certain ones can even provide enough light to read by.  Click Beetles can be found in soil, decaying wood, and under tree bark.  Click Beetles feed on pollen, aphids, and nectar.

Bernheim is proud to be a healthy forest, which provides a home to many creatures, even the smallest ones – insects. The Bugs of Bernheim is a blog series that will celebrate our six and eight-legged friends. Join us each year on the third Saturday in September at Bernheim’s annual BugFest, where you can see a variety of bugs, dance the buggy boogie, and even sample some tasty insect treats.

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