Click beetles, false click beetles and jewel beetles of Finland – a textbook
Kari Heliövaara, University of Helsinki
Other members of the group: Ilpo Mannerkoski (Finnish Environment Institute), Jyrki Muona (Finnish Museum of Natural History), Juha Siitonen (Finnish Forest Research Institute) and Hans Silfverberg (Finnish Museum of Natural History)
Metallic wood-boring beetle (Buprestis novemmaculata) © Kari Heliövaara
Both click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae), false click beetles (Eucnemidae) and the jewel beetles (Buprestidae) are species living mainly in the tropics. In Finland there are 64 species of click beetles and 31 species of jewel beetles. When the closely related groups of insects are included, the planned textbook will cover 113 species encountered in Finland. In addition, there are seven species found in Karelian area close to Finland. Especially among these species there are potential new species for the Finnish fauna.
Among the click beetles there are some species known as pests of agricultural plants, but most of the species thrive in wood decayed by polyporous fungi. Several species have decreased in numbers or withdrawn to the forested areas close to eastern border of Finland running from Northern Karelia to Kuusamo. Of the Finnish beetles, the jewel beetles have most seriously decreased in numbers. Especially the species of burnt forests have dramatically decreased during the past few decades. However, several species have always been rare or local in Finland.
Although the Finnish fauna is relatively well known, a comprehensive textbook on these insects has not existed. Click beetles, false click-beetles and jewel beetles are closely related to each other in terms of insect systematics and form a well-founded entity for the planned textbook.
High quality textbook as a goal
The handbook has several tasks and goals, but the main objectives are 1) to map Finnish click beetles, false click-beetles and jewel beetles, 2) to promote research on entomological biodiversity, 3) to increase knowledge on species known as pests, 4) to increase knowledge on endangered species, 5) to list species occurring in neighbouring areas of Finland, 6) to exploit scientific collections, and 7) to develop entomological teaching at the Universities. The final goal is to produce a textbook whose contents and technical fulfilment meet the highest quality criteria. At the same time, the textbook will provide information to anybody interested in insects.
One special goal of the textbook is to increase knowledge on rare and endangered click beetles, false click-beetles and jewel beetles, and especially on the reasons of species being endangered. The textbook will help species identification and give tools for those scientists making research in the field of forest biodiversity. Both scientific collections in the museums and private collections provide valuable material for the book. In addition, several unpublished observations made by the authors make distribution maps more accurate and give more information on the ecology of the species.
Cross click beetle (Selatosomus cruciatus) © Kari Heliövaara
Each species is shown as a colour picture based on a needled or mounted specimen. In addition, several species have been photographed in their natural environment. Two or more pictures are presented for species with clear sexual dimorphism or with different colour morphs. Also drawings and photographs on the larvae will be given.
Mail your observations to us
All records of the click beetles in Finnish museums have been digitised and gathered as a data base till the year 1999. All observations made after this year are especially interesting, but also older observations are highly welcome. Such a data base does not exist for jewel beetles. Consequently, all observations on all jewel beetle species are important and welcome. We thank in forward all those who mail observations to us.
Kari Heliövaara, Department of Forest Ecology, P.O.Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki
kari.heliovaara (at) helsinki.fi