Bug ID request
Location: Decatur, GA
June 15, 2011 6:55 am
This large bug was flipping around on my patio the other day. I thought the ”eyes” were very interesting!
Thanks for your help.
The Eyed Elater is a large Click Beetle, and we are guessing that the flipping you refer to has to do with this beetle’s ability to right itself should it ever happen upon a situation where it is on its back. The Eyed Elater and many other Click Beetles are able to snap the thorax and abdomen against a hard surface when they are on their back which flips them into the air, often allowing the beetle to land on its feet. They eyes are not true eyes, but eyespots or oculi which serve as a defense mechanism by fooling predators into thinking the harmless Eyed Elater might actually be a larger predator like a snake.