Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 4:51 AM
This rather large beetle / bug (while in flight) flew directly into my head, bounced off, and landed in the grass. Thankfully, neither of us suffered injury other than severe startle! I picked it up out of the grass, and after a few seconds rest on my palm, it flew off. What is the name of this beetle? Thanks.
Eastern NC Pitt County
What a positively gorgeous photo of an Eyed Elater, Alaus oculatus, one of the Click Beetles, preparing to take flight. Your photo nicely depicts a defining characteristic of beetles which have two pairs of wings like most insects, but have the upper wings hardened into wing covers known as elytra. It is the soft under wings that are the flying wings. This is the second letter we have received with stunning images of an Eyed Elater this week and it makes us a bit sad we did not select it as the Bug of the Month. We are seriously considering making this strikingly attractive beetle the Bug of the Month for March. Thanks for you wonderful contribution.