What bug is this?
Thank you in advance for taking a look at this bug. We found this bug in the base of our tree. The tree is at least 70 years old. What do you think? Thank you so very much,
This looks to us to be a Blind Elater, Alaus myops, also called the Blind Click Beetle or Small Eyed Click Beetle. We generally get many images of the closely related Eyed Elater, Alaus oculatus, in the summer. According to BugGuide, the Blind Elater is: “Similar to the more popularly known A. oculatus, but smaller, especially, narrower, and the eyespots on the pronotum much smaller. More mottled, less glossy black. Elytra finely striated (coarse striations in oculatus). Flies earlier in year (spring) than A. myops (summer).” The larvae of the Blind Elater preys on wood boring beetle grubs in pine trees.
The click beetle appears to me to be the “regular” eyed-elater. They can pass the winter as adults. The specimen shown has sawdust on it which compromises its markings a bit, but in my experience the “blind elater” has very vague rings around the eyespots, whereas this one has very bold rings.