Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Click beetle

Conoderus exsul (Sharp)

Order: Coleoptera
Family: Elateridae

Size range

  • Adult beetle about 12–13 mm long, larva (wireworm) about 17 mm long


  • From Australia, also found in New Zealand

Life History

  • Larvae of elaterids eat plant roots, potatoes and other insect larvae
  • Adults may eat leaves, pollen and nectar
  • If a beetle lands on its back, it is able to use a click mechanism between the two parts of the shell to jump up to 30 cm, thus righting itself, making an audible click

Additional images