Elateroidea is a large superfamily of beetles. It contains the familiar click beetles, fireflies, and soldier beetles, and their relatives.
Certain clusters of families within the superfamily are more strongly related to one another; for example, the Elateridae has close ties to , Cerophytidae, Eucnemidae, and Throscidae, and some of these beetles can also "click".
Likewise, the Lampyridae are very closely related to Drilidae, Omalisidae, Phengodidae (which includes Telegeusidae), and the doubtfully distinct Rhagophthalmidae; members of these families are also bioluminescent, at least as larvae. This group of families also includes many taxa whose females are larviform, though this is also known from a few other families in the superfamily.
The validity and relationships of some families, such as Podabrocephalidae, Rhagophthalmidae and Rhinorhipidae, are not fully resolved.
- Artematopodidae Lacordaire, 1857 ? soft-bodied plant beetles (= Eurypogonidae)
- Brachypsectridae Leconte & Horn, 1883 ? Texas beetles
- Cantharidae ? soldier beetles
- Cerophytidae ? rare click beetles
- Drilidae Blanchard, 1845
- Elateridae ? click beetles (including Ampedidae, Dicronychidae, Lissomidae, Prosternidae, Protelateridae, Pyrophoridae, Synaptidae)
- Eucnemidae Eschscholtz, 1829 ? false click beetles (including Perothopidae)
- Lampyridae ? firefly beetles
- Lycidae ? net-winged beetles
- Omalisidae Lacordaire, 1857 (= Homalisidae, Omalysidae)
- Omethidae LeConte, 1861 ? false firefly beetles
- Phengodidae LeConte 1861 ? glowworm beetles (including Telegeusidae)
- Plastoceridae Crowson , 1972
- Podabrocephalidae Pic, 1930
- Rhagophthalmidae (sometimes in Phengodidae, might belong in Lampyridae)
- Rhinorhipidae Lawrence, 1988
- Throscidae Laporte, 1840 ? false metallic wood-boring beetles (= Balgidae, Trixagidae)
The Superfamily Elateroidea is further organized into finer groupings including:
- Family (7): Artematopidae · Cebrionidae · Cerophytidae · Elateridae · Eucnemidae · Perothopidae · Throscidae
The family Elateridae is commonly called click beetles (or "typical click beetles" to distinguish them from the related Cerophytidae and ), elaters, snapping beetles, spring beetles or "skipjacks". They are a cosmopolitan beetle family characterized by the unusual click mechanism they possess. There are a few closely related families in which a few members have the same mechanism, but all elaterids can click. A spine on the prosternum can be snapped into a corresponding notch on the mesosternum, producing a violent "click" which can bounce the beetle into the air. Clicking is mainly used to avoid predation, although it is also useful when the beetle is on its back and needs to right itself. There are about 9300 known species worldwide, and 965 valid species in North America. [more]
At least 59 species and subspecies belong to the Family Throscidae.
More info about the Family Throscidae may be found here.
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