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(click beetles), a family of beetles. The body is elongated and the short legs have tarsi with five segments. The body ranges in length from 2 mm to 50 mm, although it most commonly measures 7–20 mm. The antennae have 11–12 segments and are serrated or pectinate, rarely filiform. The prothorax has a process that is directed back into a special cavity in the mesothorax. With the aid of this mechanism beetles that fall on their backs are able to turn over by jumping up with a clicking noise. The wings are usually well developed.
The family embraces approximately 10,000 species, more than 500 of which are found in the USSR. The ubiquitous insects live on plants, on which they feed. The larvae, which are called wire-worms, develop in the soil and in rotting wood and feed on disintegrating plant remains, living roots, or the larvae of other insects. The larvae of Agrietes, Selatosomus, and other genera are agricultural pests, harming germinating seeds or gnawing into the tillering crown of cereal grasses until the plant weakens and dies. They are also harmful to forest plantings.
REFERENCESCherepanov, A. I. Zhuki-shchelkuny Zapadnoi Sibiri. Novosibirsk, 1957.
Vrediteli sel’skokhoziaistvennykh kul’tur i lesnykh nasazhdenii, vol. 1. Kiev, 1973.
O. L. KRYZHANOVSKII