Tue, Jun 9, 2009 at 9:57 AM
Hello, A friend and I were birding at Lake Ramapo State Forest in New Jersey ( about 25 miles from NYC) when we spotted this insect, about 3 inches long, clinging to the bark of a large deciduous tree. It had speckling on its back and underside, and most notably huge false eyes on its back, the like of which I’ve only seen before on certain butterflies and moths. Our best guess is that it is a beetle, but neither of us had ever seen a similar one before.
We would love to know what it is!
Northern New Jersey
We have never really thought of the Eyed Elater as being camouflaged because of those enormous eyespots that make it look like a snake to many birds or other predators. We are sad we did not make the Eyed Elater, which is a large Click Beetle, the Bug of the Month for June, but we make select it for July.