The body shape is characteristic and the angles of the thorax are produced. Ventrally there is a spine-like process that fits into a groove. This causes the "click" that allows the beetles to flip when it is disturbed or when they inadvertently fall on their backs. The body integument is very tough and you frequently see birds attempting to "crack" larger beetles, usually with little success.
Click beetle larvae live in the soil and are often called Wireworms. Several species are economically important because of their depredations to roots of crops like wheat and other grasses. Adult clicks live in foliage; some are predaceous, others feed on plant material.
it is estimated there are 70 genera in Australia with 667 described species. Andrew Calder has produced a monograph on the Australian fauna.
A Click Beetle, Paracalais sp. in a typical position-on its back.
The same beetle right-side up.
A close look at the colour pattern revels that it comprises modified hairs or scales.
A large specimen of Lanelator sp. Note the sharp angles of the thorax, a characteristic of the Elateridae.
Calder, A. E. 1996. Click Beetles Genera of the Australian Elateridae (Coleoptera). Monographs on invertebrate Taxonomy, Vol. 2. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Vic.