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  • Eastern-Eyed Click Beetle - (Alaus oculatus)

    Eastern-Eyed Click Beetle - (Alaus oculatus)

    The large eyespots on the white speckled Eastern-Eyed Click Beetle are hard to miss on this harmless beetle.

    Staff Writer (8/15/2017): This species of click beetle has two large black 'eyespots' on its pronotum. They are surrounded by a thick, white ring. The Eastern-Eyed Click Beetle has similar-looking relatives in the Southwest as well as a darker one in the West and Pacific Northwest. Their ranges may overlap at the boundaries, but it is unlikely to see them completely cross over and populate the others' regions.

    Like all members of the Elateridae family, Click beetles get their name from the sound they make when they flip themselves upright. The loud click is made when they snap a 'spine' under their thorax. This propels them into the air and helps turn them right-side-up if they are on their backs. It may also aid in deterring predators from completing an attack.

    Larvae (called 'wireworms') live in decaying plants and eat other insects living in the soil. Adults do not eat very much, though the larvae of wood-boring beetles have been consumed. Adults are often found on pruned trees from spring through autumn. It is not uncommon to see them flying from tree to tree in deciduous forests.

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    Details of the:
    Eastern-Eyed Click Beetle

    Category: Beetle
    Common name: Eastern-Eyed Click Beetle
    Scientific Name: Alaus oculatus
    Other Names: Big-Eyed Click beetle

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Coleoptera
          Family: Elateridae
           Genus: Alaus
            Species: oculatus

    Size (Adult, Length): 25mm to 51mm (0.98in to 2.01in)

    Identifying Colors: black; white; gray

    Additional Descriptors: eyespot, speckled, noise, large, flying, flip

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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