; subclass Pterygota, order Coleoptera)
Family of elongate, usually black or brown beetles, 3–54 mm long, with long, often comb-like antennae. If the beetle falls on its dorsal surface, the body jack-knifes with a pronounced click, throwing it into the air, and thus turning it over, so that it may land on its ventral surface. The larvae (wire-worms) are long, cylindrical, and tough-skinned; they can be serious crop pests, feeding on roots. Others are carnivorous or wood-feeders. Pyrophorus species (fireflies) occur in the neotropics: all stages are luminescent (compare Lampyridae). There are 7000 species, with very wide distribution.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.