The insects belong to the family Elateridae, whose characters are described under Coleoptera.
Except for a few species in the New Hebrides, New Caledonia and Fiji, the luminous Elateridae are unknown in the eastern hemisphere.
The well-known "fire-flies" of the tropics are large click-beetles (Elateridae), that emit light from paired spots on the prothorax and from the base of the ventral abdominal region.
And when we know that the Chrysomelidae and Buprestidae also lived in Triassic, and the Carabidae, Elateridae, Cerambycidae and Scarabaeidae, in Liassic times, we cannot doubt that the great majority of our existing families had already been differentiated at the beginning of the Mesozoic epoch.
The Elateridae or click beetles (fig.
Many of the tropical American Elateridae emit light from the spots on the prothorax and an area beneath the base of the abdomen; these are "fireflies" (see above).
The larvae of Elateridae are elongate, worm-like grubs, with narrow bodies, very firm cuticle, short legs, and a distinct anal proleg.
The Buprestidae are distinguished from the Elateridae by the immobility of the prosternal process in the mesosternal cavity and by the absence of the lateral processes at the hind corners of the prothorax.
Among the Coleoptera or bettles there is a group of world-wide pests, the Elateridae or click beetles, the adults of the various " wireworms."