Eyed Click Beetle
Location: Burbs just north of Hotlanta
April 9, 2012 11:41 am
Sunday afternoon I was sitting in my front yard and watched this large flying insect make his approach. It flew in a slow lazy way and wasn’t quite parallel to the ground but a bit tilted. I was already curious. Then when it landed on my painting drop cloth I had to check it out with my camera phone. I was expecting a dragonfly or cicada killer wasp. I was not expecting these large eyes. The beetle was a very patient model even allowing me to fetch a quarter and place it alongside for scale. After I took the photos a google search seemed to identify this beetle as an Eyed Click Beetle. I think I saw it listed here as an Eyed Elater the elater was an important part of the name. I do wish I’d discovered its identity before it flew away. I will confess I probably would’ve flipped it over just to witness the click-naming behavior.
Just to be clear…I fully realized the spots were protection from being eaten as a tasty snack and not true eyes. Last reply…I also took photos of the eyed click beetle with my “real” camera if you’d like to see them they can be found on flickr. Including this one that shows the real and fake eyes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/booturtle/7061395201/
Thank you for sending us your wonderful first hand observations of the flight and behavior of an Eyed Elater or Eyed Click Beetle. So often, we get very spare requests for identifications with no observational information. Our readers like reading about what they can expect to see if they encounter a creature on our pages. We are sorry you learned the identity too late to witness the ability of this Click Beetle to “right” itself if it finds itself on its back. We are also happy you did learn that they “eyes” are actually just markings that fool predators like birds into thinking that the Eyed Elater is actually a much larger creature and perhaps even a potential threat to a predator.