Elateridae of the British Isles


There is currently no comprehensive guide or key to the British Elateridae, nor a recent atlas or account of biologies. However, some of the European publications listed below contain English text and keys to most of the British species and used in conjunction with other texts can give the reader a fairly extensive knowledge of the group.

The references below refer to British or European publications only. Many of the older publications give outdated scientific names and reference to Duff, 2008 should be made to determine current names for the species involved. Publications out of copyright can be obtained online via the Biodiversity Heritage Library, www.biodiversitylibrary.org

Allen, A.A., 1936 Adelocera quercea Herbst. (Col. Elateridae) established as British, Entomologists Monthly Magazine, 72:267-269

Allen, A.A., 1937 Limoniscus violaceus Mull. (Elateridae), a Genus and Species of Coleoptera new to Britain, Entomologists Record, 49:110

Allen, A.A., 1938 Elater ruficeps Muls., a beetle new to Britain, Entomologists Monthly Magazine, 74:172

Champion, G.C., 1905 Note on the Elater aethiops Lac. of British Collections, Entomologists Monthly Magazine, 41:210

Desvignes, T., 1842 Elater rufitarsis described. New British Elater, The Entomologist, 1:326

Donisthorpe, H.St.J.K., 1925 Elater rufipennis Steph. a distinct species, Entomologists Record, 37:124-125

Donisthorpe, H.St.J.K., 1927 The Bionomics of Ludius ferrugineus L. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of London, 2:39

Emden, H.F. van, 1945 Larvae of British Beetles. V. Elateridae, Entomologists Monthly Magazine, 81:31-37

Emden, H.F. van, 1956 Morphology and identification of the British larvae of the genus Elater (Col., Elateridae), Entomologists Monthly Magazine, 92:167-188

Laibner, S., 2000 Elateridae of the Czech and Slovak Republics, Zlin, Kabourek – Bilingual in Czech and English.

Leseigneur, L., 1972, Coléoptères Elateridae de la faune de France continentale et de Corse, Société Linnéenne de Lyon – Text in French.

Mendel, H., 1988 Provisional Atlas of the Click Beetles (Coleoptera: Elateroidea) of the British Isles, Grange-over-Sands, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology

Mendel, H., 2008 Elateridae. In: Duff, A.G. (ed), 2008, Checklist of Beetles of the British Isles, 2008 edition. Wells, Somerset, A.G. Duff

Platia, G.,1994 Volume 33 Coleoptera: Elateridae, Fauna d’Italia, Edizioni Calderini, Bologna – Text in Italian.

Rye, E.C., 1867 Description of a new species of Elater, Entomologists Monthly Magazine, 3:249

Tarnawski, D. 2000 Elateridae (Insecta: Coleoptera), Fauna Polski 21, Museum and Institute of Zoology at the Polish Academy of Sciences


General Entomology

Alexander, K.N.A. (2002) The invertebrates of living and decaying timber in Britain and Ireland. A provisional annotated checklist. English Nature Research Reports Number 467. English Nature. Peterborough, UK – Section on the Elateridae with notes on lifecycles, host tree species and general distributions.

Chinery, M., 1993 Collins Field Guide Insects of Britain and Northern Europe (3rd Edition) London, Harper Collins – General insect field guide with a number of Elateridae featured.

Chinery, M., 2007 Insects of Britain and Western Europe (2nd Edition) London, A&C Black – General insect field guide with a number of Elateridae featured.

Cooter, J., Barclay, M.V.L. eds., 2006 A Coleopterists Handbook (4th Edition) Orpington, The Amateur Entomologists’ Society – Section on the Elateridae as well as other families and general information relevant to the Coleopterist.

Donisthorpe, H.St.J.K., 1939, A Preliminary List of the Coleoptera of Windsor Forest, London, Nathaniel Lloyd and Co. – Includes a section on the Elateridae with notes on recording methods and general distributions within the study area.

Duff, A. G. (ed), 2008 Checklist of Beetles of the British Isles, 2008 Edition. Wells, Somerset, A.G. Duff – Comprehensive list of British Coleoptera including synonyms, recently extinct species, naturalised species, sub-fossil species and non-established introductions.

Fowler, W.W. 1889 The Coleoptera of the British Isles, Vols. 1-5. London, UK. L.Reeve and Co. – Classic work on British Coleoptera with Elateridae featured in Volume 4.

Fowler, W.W., Donisthorpe, H.St.J.K. 1913 The Coleoptera of the British Isles, Supplement, Vol. 6. London, UK. L. Reeve and Co. – Supplement to Fowler’s work on British Coleoptera.

Joy, N.H., 1932 A Practical Handbook of British Beetles, Vols. 1-2. H.F. and G. Witherby – Classic work on British Coleoptera with keys and species notes in Volume 1 and line drawings in Volume 2. Reprinted by  E.W. Classey in 1976 and 1997. CD-rom version produced in 2009 by Pisces Conservation Ltd.