Currently viewing the category: "Click Beetles"

Subject: Beautiful Bug
Location: Moraine State Park, PA, USA
August 5, 2017 9:13 pm
Can you tell us what this bug is? It was about 2″ long.
Signature: mccholly

Eyed Elater

Dear mccholly,
We can’t resist going straight to submissions with subject lines like your “Beautiful Bug” when we are searching for content for our site.  This is an Eyed Elater, the largest North American Click Beetle.

Subject: Big beetle
Location: Lee’s Summit, MO
July 18, 2017 3:10 pm
What is this? It jumps like a click beetle.
Signature: Sandy Wilson

Eyed Elater

Dear Sandy,
“It jumps like a click beetle” because it is a Click Beetle.  The Eyed Elater is the largest North American Click Beetle.

Subject: Identify this bug
Location: DC
July 3, 2017 12:59 pm
I usually see this bugs in the summer. I live in Washington DC
Signature: Now

Flat Wireworm

Dear Now,
We believe we have correctly identified your Click Beetle as a Flat Wireworm,
Aeolus mellillus, thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide, it is found “across NA.”

Subject: Cool bug. Can you ID?
Location: Waveland, MS
June 12, 2017 4:18 pm
This beauty crash landed next to me on my porch. It’s an overcast summer day, not too hot. Area is swampy and semi-wooded. House is raised about 15′ .
The bug was fine after the landing, and quickly ambled off toward some potted plants.
Signature: Jackalope

Eyed Elater

Dear Jackalope,
North America’s largest Click Beetle, the Eyed Elater, is one of our most frequent identification requests from Eastern North America during the late spring and summer months.

Subject: Black and white bugs help
Location: Portage, Michigan, USA
June 4, 2017 11:27 am
Hello, my name is Krystina and you all helped identify what was a harmless bug. But I’m back with a new bug me and my friends found in the backyard. Thank you so much for your time and knowledge!
Signature: Krystina

Eyed Elater

Dear Krystina,
We are glad you are returning for a new identification.  This is a harmless Eyed Elater, the largest Click Beetle in North America.  Click Beetles are quite amusing.  Unlike most beetles that struggle if they find themselves on their backs, the Eyed Elater and other Click Beetles can snap their bodies, propelling themselves into the air so that they land on their feet.  What appear to be eyes are actually false eyespots that will potentially frighten away a predator that thinks a tasty morsel is actually a larger threat.  Dr. Kent Hovind’s Blog has a children’s story that explains those interesting aspects of the Eyed Elater.  Because our editorial staff will be away from the office later in the month, we are post-dating your submission to go live while we are on holiday.

Subject: Big Beatle
Location: Middle Tennessee
May 17, 2017 10:04 am
I live in the upper Cumberland platue area. I’m seeing these weird looking Beatles more and more in this area. Can you please tell me what they kind of bug this is. Thank you.
Signature: A.navarro

Eyed Elater

Dear A. Navarro,
This is an Eyed Elater,
Alaus oculatus, the largest North American Click Beetle.  It is universally believed that the striking “eye spots” are protective markings that fool predators like birds into thinking the beetle is a threat as opposed to a tasty morsel.  According to BugGuide:  “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.”  If you live near a wooded area with rotting logs, it might explain the spike in the numbers of Eyed Elaters you are encountering.