Currently viewing the category: "Click Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black and white???
Sat, May 30, 2009 at 5:37 PM
I found this bug on me the other day when I was down in the woods…I live in Pennsylvania so it didnt surprise me to find a bug on me but when I took a closer look I realized I had NEVE%R seen this bug in my life. I googled it and couldnt find any information that was relevant.
Kyle Monaghan
Lancaster, PA

Eyed Elater

Eyed Elater

Hi Kyle,
The Eyed Elater is a large distinctive Click Beetle, Alaus oculatus, found in the Eastern and Central portions of North America according to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

grey and white and black!
Thu, May 7, 2009 at 7:56 PM
I live in Central Florida, and was walking into a burger king in New symrna beach florida (central east coast) and i looked down and spotted this bug looking right back at me. went in to use the bathroom and came back and he was still there, in the same spot
April Diamond
Florida, US

Eyed Elater

Eyed Elater

Hi April,
Your letter is so amusing.  This Eyed Elater was not really looking back at you.  It just appears to be looking back at you.  What you think are eyes are just eyespots.  These eyespots help to discourage predators, especially birds.  The birds see the large “eyes” and think a far larger creature is at hand, possibly a snake.  Eyed Elaters are Click Beetles that can right themselves if they are on their back by snapping their bodies, propelling themselves into the air, and flipping to land right side up.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Saturday 18 April 2009, 10 PM
We went to the grocery store to buy a steak to eat with the four edible morels that sprouted under our carob tree between the Digitalis. We we went out to pick the morels, we noticed the silhouette of a large beetle on the screen door. We have never seen such a large beautiful black Click Beetle before in Los Angeles. We captured the beetle and measured it at a whopping 1 1/8 inches, and we tried unsuccessfully to photograph it.

Click Beetle

It is dark and we have to manually focus, and the beetle was moving fast. Furthermore, the batteries are low and we didn’t buy more at the market. After taking four blurry images, we put the Click Beetle in the refrigerator to cool down and hopefully slow its metabolism. We tried to identify this beauty on BugGuide, and we believe it may be in the genus Lanelater. It looks startlingly like Lanelater sallei, but that species is from the Gulf States. A pdf on the genus Lanelater that we located online mentions another species from Arizona, Lanelater schottii, and BugGuide has an image of that species as well. Can our beetle be Lanelater schottii? We plan to buy new batteries tomorrow and taking some better images by daylight. While photographing this Click Beetle on the kitchen table, we turned it on its back several times. It can right itself in one or two tries. It only flips about 2 inches in the air.

Click Beetle

We chilled the Click Beetle and got a clearer image, but we hope to get new batteries and shoot it again tomorrow morning.

Click Beetle

Update: Sunday 19 April 2009, 2:04 PM
We kept the Unknown Click Beetle in the refrigerator overnight, and it paid off.  We managed to get numerous images before the beetle became too active.

Unknown Click Beetle

We have decent shots of both the dorsal and ventral view.

Unknown Click Beetle

The spines at the tips of the thorax are quite prominent.  The heat has set in in LA and we are expecting highs of 95º today and tomorrow. There were countless beetles and moths at the porch light.

Unknown Click Beetle

This Click Beetle is large and very black.  Now that we are certain we have good photo documentation, we are releasing our pretty Click Beetle and waiting for Eric Eaton or another reader to assist us in the proper identification.

Unknown Click Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Beetle from Cloud forest in Ecuadorian Andes
Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 8:46 PM
We just got back from Milpe in Ecuador (elevation 1500 meters) and came across this beautiful beetle. Can you ID?
BTW. We saw an almost identical Scorpion bug in the Amazon as the one noted in Thailand. I am attaching pic. Amazing how they can be found in areas so far away from each other.
Mtnchk
Milpe Ecuador

Buprestid? or Elaterid?

Click Beetle: genus Semiotus

Dear Mtnchk,
We not be able to ever get you a definitive species identification on your beetle, but first we need to start with the family. We are not sure if your beetle is a Jewel Beetle (AKA Metallic Wood Boring Beetle) in the family Buprestidae, or a Click Beetle in the family Elateridae. Our first thought was a Buprestid because of the coloration, but the thoracic area has us inclined to speculate that this is an Elaterid. Click Beetles get their common name from their ability to snap their bodies at the junction of the thorax and abdomen. If the beetle finds itself on its back, this ability allows it to right itself by snapping its body against the hard ground, propelling the beetle high into the air and producing an audible clicking sound. Most North American Click Beetles are drab in coloration, but some tropical species are brightly colored. We hope one of our expert contributors will be able to at least narrow the family and perhaps identify the species.

Tailless Whipscorpion

Tailless Whipscorpion

Also, thanks for including your Ecuadorean example of a Tailless Whipscorpion.

Update: from Eric Eaton
Hi, Daniel:
It is indeed a click beetle, in the genus Semiotus. The whole genus is quite colorful!
Eric

Dear Daniel,
This is fantastic. I really appreciate your quick and thorough response. What a great website you have and I have actually given you a very positive rating as a new website for “Stumble upon” where I was when I came upon your website. I hope this gives you many more hits which lead to some financial gains- you certainly deserve it!
Mtnchk (Rebecca

Update:
Hi Daniel
It goes by the common name ‘Cucuya’ in Ecuador and it is a click beetle (family Elateridae); probably Semiotus illigeri. It occurs in Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia and Ecuador. Semiotus is a large neotropical genus with 31 representatives in Ecuador. Images are hard to find but the ‘Natural History Museum of Los Angeles’ has posted a report on the genus that includes numerous distribution maps and excellent color plates (look for Figure 227). Regards.
Karl
http://www.nhm.org/research/publications/Contributions_in_Science/CS514.pdf

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Beetle
Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 4:51 AM
This rather large beetle / bug (while in flight) flew directly into my head, bounced off, and landed in the grass. Thankfully, neither of us suffered injury other than severe startle! I picked it up out of the grass, and after a few seconds rest on my palm, it flew off. What is the name of this beetle? Thanks.
Jay W
Eastern NC Pitt County

Eyed Elater

Eyed Elater

Dear Jay,
What a positively gorgeous photo of an Eyed Elater, Alaus oculatus, one of the Click Beetles, preparing to take flight.  Your photo nicely depicts a defining characteristic of beetles which have two pairs of wings like most insects, but have the upper wings hardened into wing covers known as elytra.  It is the soft under wings that are the flying wings.  This is the second letter we have received with stunning images of an Eyed Elater this week and it makes us a bit sad we did not select it as the Bug of the Month.  We are seriously considering making this strikingly attractive beetle the Bug of the Month for March. Thanks for you wonderful contribution.

Eyed Elater

Eyed Elater

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Big Eyed Click Beetle
Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 7:25 PM
I found this large beetle today. I assume it is a Big Eyed Click Beetle? It may have been too cold out today for it to click and turn itself over.
Fred
Central Florida

Eyed Elater

Eyed Elater

Hi Fred,
You are correct.  This is an Eyed Elater, Alaus oculatus, which is also called an Eyed Click Beetle.  We are not certain why your individual didn’t “click” itself upright, but we do know that the larger Elaters are not as proficient at the clicking maneuver as are some of its smaller, less colorful relatives.

Eyed Elater

Eyed Elater

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination