Home / Click Beetles (Elateridae) / Eastern Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus oculatus)

Eastern Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus oculatus)

Eastern eyed click beetle of the click beetle family is majorly found in the forest and woodland regions of North and Central America. The big, black eyespots on its pronotum, looking like false eyes, has earned the beetle its name.

Eastern Eyed Click Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Elateridae
  • Genus: Alaus
  • Scientific name: Alaus oculatus

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 24 – 45 mm

Color: It has a black or dark gray body covered with white speckles. A white circular ring borders the two black eyespots, while the black elytra have silvery-white scales on it.

Other Characteristic Features: Their body appears elongated, while the enlarged spots on their pronotum gives the impression of two big eyes.  

Alaus oculatus

Larva

The larva, also known as wireworms, inhabit the decayed plants, eating other insects dwelling in the soil. They are yellowish-white or coppery with a smooth, slender body.

Eastern Eyed Click Beetle Larvae

Pupa

The pupal phase takes place within the rotting logs or underground where the larva thrives.

Egg

The eggs are small, and round mostly laid within the soil by the female eastern eyed click beetle species.

Quick Facts

Other NamesEyed elater
Adult lifespan2 – 5 years
Duration of larval stage1 – 2 weeks
DistributionNorth America, Central America
HabitatWoodlands, deciduous or mixed forests mostly thriving in piles or stumps of decayed wood
Common PredatorsNot recorded
Seasons active fromApril – September
Host PlantsGrasses and crops like corn
Diet  of larvae and adultsLarvae: Larvae of other beetle species, particularly wood-boring beetles, as well as that of caterpillars and flies; and also roots as well as grasses
Adults: Nectar and juices of plants
Eyed Elater

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

Though they are not harmful yet, their infestation could create yellow patches in the grasses or even damage the roots.

Did You Know

  • The eyespots serve the purpose of self mimicry, a technique where a part of their body mimics the other, serving as a defense mechanism. Potential predators often fear or get confused seeing these big spots, thinking them to be false eyes, and run away.
  •   These beetles have powerful jaws that they use in tearing the insect larvae and then eating them.
  • Like other members of its family, this species too can play dead by rolling on to its back if touched or threatened. With the click mechanism located on its thorax, it leaps for a while and lands on the ground.
Eastern Eyed Click Beetle Picture

Image Source: welcomewildlife.com, 1.bp.blogspot.com, lh4.ggpht.com, objects.liquidweb.services, nature.mdc.mo.gov

Eastern eyed click beetle of the click beetle family is majorly found in the forest and woodland regions of North and Central America. The big, black eyespots on its pronotum, looking like false eyes, has earned the beetle its name.

Eastern Eyed Click Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 24 – 45 mm

Color: It has a black or dark gray body covered with white speckles. A white circular ring borders the two black eyespots, while the black elytra have silvery-white scales on it.

Other Characteristic Features: Their body appears elongated, while the enlarged spots on their pronotum gives the impression of two big eyes.  

Alaus oculatus

Larva

The larva, also known as wireworms, inhabit the decayed plants, eating other insects dwelling in the soil. They are yellowish-white or coppery with a smooth, slender body.

Eastern Eyed Click Beetle Larvae

Pupa

The pupal phase takes place within the rotting logs or underground where the larva thrives.

Egg

The eggs are small, and round mostly laid within the soil by the female eastern eyed click beetle species.

Quick Facts

Other NamesEyed elater
Adult lifespan2 – 5 years
Duration of larval stage1 – 2 weeks
DistributionNorth America, Central America
HabitatWoodlands, deciduous or mixed forests mostly thriving in piles or stumps of decayed wood
Common PredatorsNot recorded
Seasons active fromApril – September
Host PlantsGrasses and crops like corn
Diet  of larvae and adultsLarvae: Larvae of other beetle species, particularly wood-boring beetles, as well as that of caterpillars and flies; and also roots as well as grasses
Adults: Nectar and juices of plants
Eyed Elater

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

Though they are not harmful yet, their infestation could create yellow patches in the grasses or even damage the roots.

Did You Know

  • The eyespots serve the purpose of self mimicry, a technique where a part of their body mimics the other, serving as a defense mechanism. Potential predators often fear or get confused seeing these big spots, thinking them to be false eyes, and run away.
  •   These beetles have powerful jaws that they use in tearing the insect larvae and then eating them.
  • Like other members of its family, this species too can play dead by rolling on to its back if touched or threatened. With the click mechanism located on its thorax, it leaps for a while and lands on the ground.
Eastern Eyed Click Beetle Picture

Image Source: welcomewildlife.com, 1.bp.blogspot.com, lh4.ggpht.com, objects.liquidweb.services, nature.mdc.mo.gov

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