The Click Beetles (Elateridae) of Nottinghamshire
 
Relatively easy to distinguish by their shape, Nottinghamshire certainly has it's fair share of the 65 species of Click Beetle (Elateridae) currently known from the UK. Much of the county's wealth of species (for its relatively northern geographical positioning) is completely due to the ancient Oak woodland of Sherwood Forest.
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Sherwood Forest is particularly notable for the number of rare beetles. Among these, are several nationally rare Click Beetles. Some are illustrated here, but the main aim of this page, is to (hopefully) continue to fill another gap in Nottinghamshire's online natural history resources.

Click Beetles (Elateridae) get their name from their ability to flick themselves upright should they fall onto their backs, and is frequently used as a defence mechanism when the beetle feels threatened.

They are able to do this by flexing a well developed joint between the first and second thoracic sternites and this ability to flick themselves out of a plastic pot, brings great delight to children on organised minibeast hunts.

 
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Click Beetles make an interesting subject for the naturalist wishing to broaden their interests by venturing into coleoptera study. Although the correct identification of some species can be difficult, many species can be identified from good quality photographs, especially with a number of photographs taken from a variety of different angles.

Most Click Beetles are quite drab in overall colouration and often either brown or black. From May onwards and continuing throughout the Spring, Athous haemorrhoidalis and the much smaller Agriotes pallidulus (both two shades of brown) can be found resting on low vegetation and various coarse grasses. These are probably the most common of the county's Click Beetles and will occur in most grassy areas and along roadside verges. Both are worth learning to identify early on and Umbellifer flowers are always worth checking for both species.

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  Some notable Nottinghamshire species

But there are some Click Beetles that are exceptions to the drab, brown or black rule of colouration and the striking red and black Ampedus are undoubtedly some of the most colourful found in the UK and a number of them have national rarity status.

Nottinghamshire has five species of Ampedus, but there have been no records of Ampedus cinnabarinus from Nottinghamshire in well over a century and its doubtful if it still occurs here anymore. Unfortunately the remaining four Ampedus are rather uncommon and in Nottinghamshire are restricted to the Sherwood Forest area. Most of them can be found easily enough, with a little patience, but it usually takes some searching before any degree of success is met with.

Nottinghamshire's newest Click Beetle, seems to be Oedostethus quadripustulatus, which was recorded from Besthorpe (Barnes, C.) in 2017.

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A predominantly dark, almost black species, Oedostethus quadripustulatus is attractively marked with four distinct yellow patches/spots on the elytra, but another particularly stunning Click Beetle is Ctenicera cuprea, which is a large and beautifully coloured Elaterid. In Nottinghamshire Ctenicera cuprea is another species with an apparently restricted range. Recent records have come from Clumber Park in 2011 (Brash, P.), the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's Rainworth Heath NR in 2014 and 2016 (Pendleton, T.A. and Pendleton, D.T.) and from Nottingham University's Jubilee Campus in 2017 (Dutton, A.).

Species for which there are no recent records

There are a number of Click Beetles in the following list, for which there appear to be no modern (post 1970) records. We could find no records of Calambus bipustulatus, Cidnopus aeruginosus, Adrastus rachifer, Ampedus cinnabarinus and Procraerus tibialis since the early 1900's. There is an isolated historical record of Ischnodes sanguinicollis, listed in 'Appendix A "List of species of conservation concern in Nottinghamshire' of the Nottinghamshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan, which we cannot find any trace of elsewhere and think might be doubtful.

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Nottinghamshire's current Elateridae species list
Species shown with a red asterisk, are believed known from historical records only *
 
AGRYPNUS Eschscholtz, 1829
Agrypnus murinus (Linnaeus, 1758)
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HYPNOIDUS Dillwyn, 1829
Hypnoidus riparius (Fabricius, 1792)
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ACTENICERUS Kiesenwetter, 1858
Acternicerus sjaelandicus (Müller, O.F., 1764)
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CTENICERA Latreille, 1829
Ctenicera cuprea (Fabricius, 1775)
Ctenicera pectinicornis (Linnaeus, 1758)
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CALAMBUS Thomson, C.G., 1859
Calambus bipustulatus (Linnaeus, 1767) *.
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APLOTARSUS Stephens, 1830
Aplotarsus incanus (Gyllenhal, 1827)
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PROSTERNON Latreille, 1834
Prosternon tessellatum (Linnaeus, 1758)
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SELATOSOMUS Stephens, 1830
Selatosomus aeneus (Linnaeus, 1758)
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CIDNOPUS Thomson, C.G., 1859
Cidnopus aeruginosus (Olivier, 1790) *
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KIBUNEA Kishii, 1966
Kibunea minuta (Linnaeus, 1758)
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DENTICOLLIS Piller & Mitterpacher, 1783
Denticollis linearis (Linnaeus, 1758)
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ATHOUS Eschscholtz, 1829
Athous haemorrhoidalis (Fabricius, 1801)
Athous vittatus (Fabricius, 1792)
Athous subfuscus (Müller, O.F., 1764)
Athous bicolor (Goeze, 1777)
Athous campyloides (Newman, 1833)
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STENAGOSTUS Thomson, C.G., 1859
Stenagostus rhombeus (Olivier, 1790)
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HEMICREPIDIUS Germar, 1839
Hemicrepidius hirtus (Herbst, 1784)
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ADRASTUS Eschscholtz, 1829
Adrastus pallens (Fabricius, 1792)
Adrastus rachifer (Fourcroy, 1785) *
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AGRIOTES Eschscholtz, 1829
Agriotes acuminatus (Stephens, 1830)
Agriotes lineatus (Linnaeus, 1767)
Agriotes obscurus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Agriotes pallidulus (Illiger, 1807)
Agriotes sputator (Linnaeus, 1758)
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DALOPIUS Eschscholtz, 1829
Dalopius marginatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
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AMPEDUS Dejean, 1833
Ampedus balteatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Ampedus cardinalis (Schiødte, 1865)
Ampedus cinnabarinus (Eschscholtz, 1829) *
Ampedus pomorum (Herbst, 1784)
Ampedus quercicola (du Buysson, 1887)
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PROCRAERUS Reitter, 1905
Procraerus tibialis (Lacordaire, 1835) *
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SERICUS Eschscholtz, 1829
Sericus brunneus (Linnaeus, 1758)
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MELANOTUS Eschscholtz, 1829
Melanotus castanipes (Paykull, 1800)
Melanotus villosus (Geoffroy in Fourcroy, 1785)
 
OEDOSTETHUS LeConte, 1853
Oedosthethus quadripustulatus (Fabricius, 1792)
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Species photographs
 
Agriotes obscurus (Linnaeus, 1758)
  Agriotes pallidulus (Illiger, 1807)
 
     
     
Ampedus balteatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
  Ampedus cardinalis (Schiödte, 1865)
 
     
     
Ampedus pomorum (Herbst, 1784)
  Ampedus quercicola (du Buysson, 1887)
 
     
     
Aplotarsus incanus (Gyllenhal, 1827)
  Athous bicolor (Goeze, 1777)
 
     
     
Athous haemorrhoidalis (Fabricius, 1801)
  Ctenicera cuprea (Fabricius, 1775)
 
     
     
Dalopius marginatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
  Denticollis linearis (Linnaeus, 1758)
 
     
     
Hemicrepidius hirtus (Herbst, 1784)
  Kibunea minuta (Linnaeus, 1758)
 
     
     
Melanotus castanipes (Paykull, 1800)
  Melanotus villosus (Geoffroy in Fourcroy, 1785)
 
     
     
Prosternon tessellatum (Linnaeus, 1758)
  Selatosomus aeneus (Linnaeus, 1758)
 
     
     
Stenagostus rhombeus (Olivier, 1790)
   
   
 
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