Click Beetle (Athous haemorrhoidalis)
There are an estimated 10,000 click beetles (Elateridae) worldwide in a family constantly in a state of flux and with new species being added fairly regularly.
In the UK, there are 65 known species, many of them looking very similar to A. haemorrhoidalis. with long, thin, fairly drab, brown bodies longish antennae and biting mouthparts.
A. haemorrhoidalis is relatively distinctive; 10-15mm in length and shiny, The head and pronotum are black and the elytra contrastingly dark brown. The entire upper surface is clothed with pale grey-brown pubescence. The head is transverse, densely punctured and with prominent eyes and antennae containing 11 segments.
It can be found throughout most of the UK across woodland, moorland, grassland, dunes, parks and gardens etc. Active from March or April, when they can be seen basking on low vegetation.
The larvae are known to predate winter moths, plant roots and other insects; and can take two years to develop.
(Click beetles get their name from the noise they make when employing a special hinge on their thorax, arching their body to create a tension on the hinge, like a coiled spring, before suddenly releasing the tension, causing the beetle to leap into the air at a speed of more than 2 metres per second.
This is generally deployed when the beetle feels threatened or needs to escape predation.
''Athous haemorrhoidalis'' is a species of European and Asian click beetles in the genus ''Athous''. Several variations are recognized.