Specimen in the House: Alaus oculatus

Specimen in the House: Alaus oculatus

The Alaus oculatus, Commonly known as the Eastern Eyed Click Beetle

Some Fast Facts:

  • The  Eastern Eyed Click Beetle has two large eyespots on their pronotum (top of their head), which look like giant eyes
  • They are renowned for the click sounds they make when defending itself from predators. Clicking can also help them to flip upright when they are rolled over on their back!
  • There are six related species of click beetles in the US.
  • They are primarily encountered in all the American states east of the Great Plains and up north into Canada.

The “false eyes” depicted on the pronotum are a defense adaption designed to confuse or frighten potential predators. Like all click beetles, A. oculatus is also capable of suddenly catapulting itself out of danger by releasing the energy stored by a click mechanism, which consists of a stout spine on the prosternum and a matching groove in the mesosternum.

It is their behavior when they feel threatened. It simply drops onto his back and plays dead until the predator gives up and goes on their own way. Once the threat is over, the Click Beetle will produce a loud clicking sound by snapping the first section of its thorax in the second section of the thorax. This way, the beetle manages to jump up and flip into the air and get back on its two feet in no time.

The Eastern Eyed Click Beetle is an interesting and eye-catching insect! Learn more about them here.

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