Melanotus sp.

Click Beetle

Elater photo, Melanotus sp.




Family: Elateridae

Subfamily: Elaterinae

Length: 11-21 mm


These beetles boast an golden pubescence. Adults overwinter under the bark of dead trees or logs, typically with others of their species.

Studies of the antennae of Melanotus beetles using a scanning electron microscope have shown some key differences between the antennae of males and females. The males have a large area specialized in odor detection which the females lack. Males use this part of their antennae to home in on females pheromones, and they can locate the female at a distance of up to 200 meters. Once the female scent is detected, the male takes to the air to locate the potential mate.

Below: overwintering Melanotus sp. under the bark of a fallen tree.

Group of Melanotus sp., Click Beetle

Insects of West Virginia