Beetle Grub may be Eyed Elater

Subject: Unknown Beautiful Creey Crawly
Location: Forest Lake, MN
November 1, 2015 8:33 pm
Hey, Dan! I hope this finds you and your family doing well!
I was at a friends house today and they were splitting old Red Oak for the winter. We came across this beauty, burrowed what looked like about 4 inches into the tree trunk. It’s about 2 inches long. I’m sorry I didn’t get a photo of it when it came out of the hole eventually. I thought I got enough photos but I guess not. Do you have any idea what it could be? I usually check your site before I ask, but I don’t know if it’s larvae, pupae, or what. We are all dying to find out! I feel bad that it’s probably now going to die, but perhaps an opossum with find a tasty meal.
Signature: carpwoman

Beetle Grub
Beetle Grub

Dear Carpwoman,
This is some species of Beetle Grub, and we followed up on our initial suspicion that this might be the larva of an Eyed Elater, and we believe we are correct.  Images on both BugGuide and Bug Eric confirm our suspicions.  According to Bug Eric:  “Larvae of all Alaus species live in decaying wood where they prey on the larvae and pupae of other kinds of beetles.  These ginat ‘wireworms’ have strong jaws and should be handled carefully, if at all.”  According to BugGuide:  ” larvae in decaying hardwood or pine wood, esp. in decaying roots.  Food Larvae feed on larvae and pupae of various insects, esp. beetles.”  The much more commonly encountered adult form of the Eyed Elater or Eyed Click Beetle is a large beetle with false eyespots.

Thank you for such a speedy response!  It’s nice to see this beautiful grub would have (hopefully still will) turned into such a cool beetle.


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