Making Friends the SevenOneEight Way
June 11, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Click Beetle, Making Friends


The other morning, I woke up and stumbled into the living room. It was still dark and so my vision wasn’t exactly all there, but when I looked down, I noticed something crawling toward the kitchen of my new apartment.

My first roach! Fuck!

I looked for a shoe, but there were none in sight. If I didn’t do something quickly, he would’ve scurried into the closet and I would never have been able to find him. I’d spend the next week and a half surveying the floor before I entered any room. There’s no way I could let that happen.

The only other option was the can of Raid, which I really didn’t want to use because the entire apartment would smell like crap. It was my only hope, though.

I reached down and misted his back, but he didn’t speed up. Normally, a roach will haul ass as soon as it catches a whiff of insecticide. This dude just kept walking along at his own slow pace.

I sprayed again.

That’s when I realized that this thing was no roach.

On the top of what appeared to be it’s head, two bright green lights began to glow, like giant radiation-filled eyes. What the fuck? I was no longer fighting an insect; I was up against a fucking alien.

After standing, mesmorized, for a good 15 seconds, I came back to my senses, found a shoe and beat the piss out of it. Those green lights slowly dimmed and eventually faded, signaling his unfortunate demise.

But, really, what the hell was that thing?

A few minutes of Googling led me to my answer–a click beetle. Holy hell, are these things awesome. From Wikipedia:

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.

So, not only can they glow, but they can basically do all sorts of weird shit with their bodies. Awesome. Here’s a video of these bad boys in action:

Now, I’m truly sad that I smacked that little bugger with that shoe. He’s so gosh darn cute. And entertaining. Perhaps he and I could’ve been friends.

Maybe next time.


1 Comment so far
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Those are the BEST beetles ever lmao. I used to think they were fireflies when I was younger. How dare you kill one! =D

Comment by KP

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