True wireworms are the larvae of click beetles belonging to the family Elateridae and feed on roots bulbs and tubers. There are several species which are native to Australia.
False wireworms are the larvae of the Tenebrionidae family of beetles.
The fast moving larvae, commonly referred to as grubs, have slender, segmented hard bodies which are a cylindrical shape.
Their colouring can vary from cream to golden brown to blackish-brown to grey with a darker, round head.
They have 3 pairs of legs just behind the head and either pointed tails that turn upwards or have a pair of spines on the last body segment.
The most common ones are:
*Grey or small false wireworm- 9 mm
These have a shiny, grey/green body. From the last (tail) segment there are two protrusions.
The adult beetles are slender, 8mm long and are dark brown in colour.
*Large or eastern false wireworm- 50 mm
This is the largest, most commonly found group. Their colouring is light cream to tan with tan or brown rings around each body segment giving a banded appearance.
They have no protrusions from the tail segment.
The adult is a large, oval-shaped, black and shiny beetle.
*Southern false wireworm- 20 mm
These are similar to the large false wireworm but a little smaller.
The adult beetles are oval-shaped, usually dark brown/grey; sometimes called “pie-dish” beetles because the edges of their bodies have a flanged appearance.
Sometimes they have a coating of soil over them.
Adult size: 9 mm- 50 mm