Hairy click beetle (Synaptus filiformis)

Hairy click beetle
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Hairy click beetle fact file

Hairy click beetle description

GenusSynaptus (1)

This click beetle is blackish in colour, and covered in small, greyish fine hairs. The sides of the thorax are wavy, and the antennae and legs are a reddish colour (2).

Length: 9-11 mm (2)

Hairy click beetle biology

Click beetles are so called because of the way they right themselves when they are tipped onto their backs; the thorax is arched, and a projection underneath their bodies is flicked outwards, they then flip into the air with an audible 'click', and usually land on their feet. Adult hairy click beetles are active in May and June (3). It is thought that larvae may develop in dead wood (4).


Hairy click beetle range

All recent records in Britain are from the River Parrett between Burrow Bridge and Oath, in Somerset (3). Old records are from the Severn catchment between Bristol and Tewkesbury, and on islands in the Thames (3). It is also found in central and southern Europe (3).

You can view distribution information for this species at the National Biodiversity Network Atlas.

Hairy click beetle habitat

This species is associated with riverbanks and canal margins (4). The larvae inhabit waterlogged soil, and can survive even if the area is flooded with salt or freshwater. Adults are found on vegetation at the waterside, and are particularly associated with reed canary-grass Phalaris arundinacea (3).


Hairy click beetle status

Classified as Endangered in Great Britain (3).


Hairy click beetle threats

The hairy click beetle is threatened by engineering works carried out on rivers, drainage of riverside wetlands, pollution, and unsuitable management, particularly overgrazing of river banks or neglect, which results in scrub growth (3). Furthermore, changes in the availability of dead wood may have an impact on this species (4).


Hairy click beetle conservation

This beetle is a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP), and a Species Action Plan has been produced in order to guide its conservation. This plan aims to maintain a good population along the River Parrett, with enhancement of this population by 2010. If the species is indeed absent from the River Thames area, it has been proposed that three populations should be established there (3). The Environment Agency is responsible for managing the conservation of this species (3).

The UK Biodiversity Action Plan for this species is available at UK BAP.
There may be further information about this species available via the National Biodiversity Network Atlas.


This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:


Stage in an animal's lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
Part of the body located near the head in animals. In insects, the three segments between the head and the abdomen, each of which has a pair of legs.


  1. National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (September 2002)
  2. Joy, N. H. (1932). A practical handbook of British beetles. Volume 1. H. F. & G. Witherby, London.
  3. UKBAP. Grouped statement for saproxylic beetles (September 2002):
  4. Hymen, P. S. and Parsons, M.S. (1992) A review of the scarce and threatened Coleoptera of Great Britain: Part 1. JNCC, Peterborough.

Image credit

Hairy click beetle  
Hairy click beetle

© Frank Koehler

Frank Koehler


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