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Southwestern Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus zunianus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Southwestern Eyed Click Beetle

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The black and white Southwestern Eyed Click Beetle is at home in the arid southwestern part of the continent.

Updated: 01/05/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
This species of click beetle has two large black 'eyespots' on its pronotum. Each eyespot is surrounded by a thin, white ring. A similar-looking relative, the Eastern Eyed Click Beetle , has a bit more white speckling on the elytra (wing coverings). Both species are loyal to their own ranges and are not found in the other's region.

The larvae of the Southwestern Eyed Click Beetle are called wireworms because of their narrow, tubular bodies. They eat plants and other living things found in the soil. They are known to damage crops, making their presence a nuisance to farmers and gardeners. Adult beetles do not eat very much and are often found on freshly trimmed trees.

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' found under their thorax. This motion helps turn them right-side-up if they find themselves in the undesirable and vulnerable position of being on their backs.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Taxonomic Hierarchy

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

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Alaus zunianus
Other Name(s): Eyed Elater Beetle
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 25mm to 51mm (0.98" to 2.00")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; white; cream; gray
Descriptors: eyes; eyespots; speckled; flying; clicking; flipping

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 25mm (1.0in) and 51mm (2.0in)
Lo: 25mm
Md: 38mm
Hi: 51mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Southwestern Eyed Click Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Southwestern Eyed Click Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

Similar Insects

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