Beetles are quick

The trick with the "click"

With somersault out of the danger zone

Each animal has its own strategy for escaping danger. The click beetle hides undreamt-of Superman powers under its shell: thanks to a clever mechanism, the beetle can whirl almost 30 centimeters through the air.

Red-bellied click beetle - Photo: Helge May

Many gardeners know it at least as a larva: the click beetle. While the so-called “wireworms” live in the ground, the developed beetles usually stay above ground in the leaves or on plants.

In order to escape threatening situations, they let themselves fall at the slightest touch and, lying on their back, can usually only get out of this predicament with a trick: They clamp a special spinous process of the chest into a pit in the exoskeleton this under tension and let it pop out again at lightning speed.


Click beetles mating - Photo: Helge May

The beetles can whirl up to 30 centimeters through the air and with a little luck land on all six again. You can even hear a clicking noise in the immediate vicinity. Only click beetles have this special ability, which is why they owe their name to it.

Julian Heiermann


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