Striped Toktokkie Beetle

January 31, 2019

The drumming Striped Toktokkie Beetle (Psammodes straitus). The name toktokkie describes the sound that the beetles make as they drum their abdomens on the ground in a certain pattern or rhythm. There are a number of flightless species that have developed a unique tapping method of communication between males and females. Different species of toktokkies tap with different frequencies. Males usually initiate the tapping and then await the response of a female. Tapping signals are exchanged backwards and forwards until eventually the two beetles locate each other and mate. The sight of a toktokkie beetle will conjure up nostalgic memories for anyone growing up in Africa as these beetles are often found in the heat of the day traveling along open paths in the bush. As children we delight in their game of drumming as often they drum / tap back if you can copy the rhythm of their tapping on a rock or on the ground. You can spend hours as a child exploring such a wonder of nature.