Field of Science

The Adrastini

Glyphonyx sp., copyright Mike Quinn.

For the subject of my next post, I drew the click beetle tribe Adrastini. Well, actually, I drew the tribe Synaptini but dibs on that name was originally called by a family of sea cucumbers so it seems that 'Adrastini' should be the tribe's proper name. I described click beetles, and the nature of their click, in an earlier post.

The Adrastini are one of those groups of animals for which there seems to be little known to discuss other than their general morphology. The more typical click beetles tend to be fairly uniform in their general appearance and are often not that easy to distinguish. Adrastins belong to the subfamily Elaterinae and resemble other elaterines in their deflexed mouthparts, arcuate prosternum, open mesocoxal cavities and tarsal claws without basal setae. They differ from other elaterines in having serrate tarsal claws according to Stibick (1979). Mind you, another related group, the Melanotini, are supposed to be distinguished by their pectinate claws and I'm not entirely sure what the difference between 'serrate' and 'pectinate' is supposed to be in this context.

The Adrastini are widespread though they seem to be absent from Australia. Several genera are recognised; one of these, Glyphonyx, is distinctly larger than the rest and includes about half the tribe's known species. As far as I know, the larva has never been described for any member of this group, so what they are doing ecologically remains a largely unknown quantity.


Stibick, J. N. L. 1979. Classification of the Elateridae (Coleoptera). Relationships and classification of the subfamilies and tribes. Pacific Insects 20 (2–3): 145–186.

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