Toktokkie Psammodes sp.
Tankwa Karoo National Park
and related genera) are stout, heavy-bodied and wingless, with a tough outer casing.
Size: Length up to 65 mm.
Colour: Black or dark brown.
Habitat: More arid, warmer areas, with sandy soil and little ground cover.
The beetle makes the noise by raising its abdomen and then bringing it down on the surface of the ground several times in quick succession. The tapping is a form of communication between both sexes. The male initiates the tapping and is answered by a receptive female. After a prolonged exchange of signals, the pair finally make contact and mate. The females lay single eggs, each about 6 mm long, which they place in a shallow hollow in the ground. The long, yellow larvae that hatch live in the soil.
The mature toktokkie beetle scavenges on a variety of plant and animal debris.