What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: found
Location: jackson,, mississippi 39212
January 24, 2013 5:52 pm
While I was chopping wood I. Found the strangest insect.
Signature: Abraham White

Eyed Elater

Dear Abraham,
You didn’t clarify if you found this Eyed Elater among the wood, or if it was found upon splitting wood.  We needed to research something about the larval stage of the Eyed Elater,
Alaus oculatus, the largest North American Click Beetle, and this is what we learned on BugGuide:  “Larvae are predatory, eating grubs of wood-boring beetles like cerambycids (longhorns).”  BugGuide then provides this information on the life cycle:  “Eggs are laid in soil. Larvae predators of beetle larvae in decaying wood, especially hardwoods. Pupation is in unlined cell underground or in rotting wood.”  That would indicate that you would only find the Beetles among rotting wood, and not viable fire wood.  When Click Beetles wind up on their backs, like in your second photo, they are able to flex their bodies, producing an audible click, and the snapping action propels the Click Beetle into the air, often righting itself when it lands.

Eyed Elater on its back


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Mississippi

4 Responses to Eyed Elater found while chopping wood

  1. Ruth Lee says:

    Found one in Diamondhead, Ms. I cannot find anything on how long the beetle form lives.

  2. Thomas Tebbens says:

    June 12, 2017 – – an Eyed Elater arrived through our shop window and came to rest on our lunchroom table in Center Moriches, L.I., New York. Never saw one of these before – – saw it clearly identified here at this site – – greatly relieved to find out it is not an invading alien from out of space.
    By the way, we have a problem with Asian Long Horned beetles in these parts – – if the larvae of these Elaters eat grubs of wood boring beetles, is it possible that officialdom has imported these Elaters to combat the longhorn infestation ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *