The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Click Beetle
CLICK BEETLE, a member of the family Elateridæ, also known as the snapping bug and skipjack. When disturbed these beetles curl up and lie on their backs on the ground for a few moments and then begin a series of springs into the air accompanied by a clicking sound. When the beetle lands on its feet it runs off. The larvæ, known as wireworms, are brownish yellow in color and often live several years before attaining maturity. They live under bark and in rotten stumps and some are found in the roots of grass, Indian corn or of certain vegetables. When in great numbers they do considerable damage. Fall plowing is considered the best remedy against them. There are about 500 species in America and 7,000 species are known altogether. Consult De Candeze, ‘Monographie dea élaterides’ (4 vols, Liège 1857-81); and Le Conte, ‘Revision of the Elateridæ of the United States’ (in Transactions of the Philosophical Society, Vol. X, Philadelphia 1853).