Found on my doorstep, photographed on a nearby dead and burnt tree. ( Log Out / Normally the white scales fully encircle the eyespots, so it’s likely the beetle has escaped an attack from a predator. In fact, the composition of the eyespots differ dramatically from the rest of the beetle’s black body, achieving almost complete absorption of light (~96%). The huge false eyespots make it readily identifiable; it is thought these startle predators into thinking they are confronting an … It has two large black eyespots, each one surrounded by … The eyespots on the pronotum make predators hesitate to attack. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. The Texas eyed click beetle was first described in 1832 by the English entomologist Frederick William Hope (1797-1862); the common eyed click beetle (A. oculatus) was first described in 1758 by the Swedish taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778). ( Log Out / This results in a black coloration that appears more black than what would be produced simply from pigments such as melanin— termed “super black.” Not only is super black darker than pigment-based blacks, but it also vastly reduces specular reflection when light hits the surface at an angle. A natural history blog by Christian Alessandro Perez-Martinez. Cone-shaped microstructures are arranged vertically within the eyespots to effectively scatter incident light and increase the amount of light transmitted into the cuticle. Hopefully it can somehow realign itself, so it can go on to use its click when in peril. Elateridae or click beetles (or "typical click beetles" to distinguish them from the related families Cerophytidae and Eucnemidae) are family of beetles. Eyed Click Beetle. In predatory sea-fishes that hunt using bioluminescence, densely-packed melanosomes in the epidermis minimize reflectance from their own light lure to hide their bodies in the dark depths.. how cool is that! However, no behavioral data exists for click beetles to help understand functional significance of their eyespots. The click beetle is also “eye catching”. There are a few other families of Elateroideain which a few members have the same mechanism, but most elaterid subf… Accordingly, eyespots are often dark in the center, strongly contrasting with a bright outer ring. The last idea has received much less discussion in the literature, but seems promising to me. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Together with the ironclad beetle (Zopherus nodulosus), eyed click beetles (Alaus oculatus) were the most iconic beetles for me growing up in Texas, so a few weeks ago in Missouri I was happy to find this click beetle right on my doorstep. ( Log Out / In the former three cases, super black is presumed to enhance conspicuousness against adjacent color patches, while in the latter three it likely serves for camouflage. They are a cosmopolitan beetle family characterized by the unusual click mechanism they possess. And it’s really impressive when you hold an eyed click beetle, if you hold them carefully by the lower portion of their body, you can see their fore-body snapping back and forth, and it makes a very loud click. The eyed click beetle, or eyed elater, is common in the eastern part of our country. (1) eyespots on nonvital body regions may redirect a predatory attack, (2) the sudden unveiling of eyespots may induce a startle response in a predator, (3) eyespots may increase the bearer’s apparent size, and (4) eyespots may convey to a predator that it has been spotted, reducing the predator’s motivation to continue its pursuit. This beetle gets its name from the clicking sound the overturned beetle makes when it flips itself into the air and hopefully lands upright. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Alaus oculatus, commonly called the eastern eyed click beetle or eyed elater, is a species of click beetle. The impressive Eastern Eyed Elater or Big-eyed click beetle (Alaus oculatus) fell onto a burdock leaf as the BugLady mowed the grass nearby. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Like all members of the click beetle, or Elateridae, family, it gets its name from the sound it makes when it flips itself upright. A member of the housekeeping staff at this retirement community had been bitten by one of the beetles. The presence of super black coloration is present across the animal kingdom, for instance in birds of paradise, jumping spiders, butterflies, stick insects, vipers, and deep-sea fishes— all of which are achieved through varying, though similar, structural architectures. The eyed click beetle, Alaus oculatus (Linnaeus), reaches 1-½ inches in length and is beautifully marked with prominent oval eye spots on the pronotum and mottled gray wing covers. For all of these potential explanations, it is advantageous for eyespots to be as noticeable as possible to effectively grab a predator’s attention. ( Log Out / At up to 2 inches long, it is one of the largest known "click" beetles in the family Elateridae. This species is easily recognizable from its two large eyespots on the pronotum. The beetle accomplishes this by snapping its fingerlike spine. P hoto by Sarah Rayner Click beetles are fascinating! The beetle accomplishes this by snapping its fingerlike spine. In fact, the composition of the eyespots differ dramatically from the rest of the beetle’s black body, achieving almost complete absorption of light (~96%). It’s likely the hinge mechanism between the pronotum and abdomen was damaged. So, the click beetle’s body glints in the sunlight when viewed at an angle, but the eyespots remain uniformly black. Some people know them as skipjacks too. The impressive Eastern Eyed Elater or Big-eyed click beetle (Alaus oculatus) fell onto a burdock leaf as the BugLady mowed the grass nearby. Other names include elaters, snapping beetles, spring beetles or skipjacks. The adults can be 1¾ inches long. This family was defined by William Elford Leach (1790–1836) in 1815. Eyed click beetles are no exception. Eastern-Eyed Click Beetle . Change ). According to bugguide.net, there are six Alaus species in North America, one, appropriately named Alaus myops. When placed on their backs, these beetles characteristically “click”, snapping their thoracic segments (prothorax and mesothorax) to cause their bodies to flip in the air to right themselves. Cone-shaped microstructures are arranged vertically within the eyespots to effectively scatter incident light and increase the amount of light transmitted into the cuticle. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Eyed click beetles are no exception. While handling the beetle, I noticed it actually couldn’t ‘click’ when flexing its body, and while feeding the beetle it would curiously bend its body repetitively as if trying to click. The eyed click beetle is found in the southern U.S. as far west as Texas. Although this Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus oculatus) looks ferocious with its large, black “eyespots” (actual eyes are below antennae), it is harmless to humans. This beetle gets its name from the clicking sound the overturned beetle makes when it flips itself into the air and hopefully lands upright. The bite had left an unbroken red welt, … It lives in deciduous forests, where the larvae grow in decaying logs, preying on longhorn beetle grubs. If you look closely at this beetle you will notice the white ring around each eyespot is incomplete. Many hypotheses have been thrown around regarding the evolution of adaptive value of false eyespots in insects, e.g. AE: Oh, they’re great. According to bugguide.net, there are six Alaus species in North America, one, appropriately named Alaus myops. The click beetle is also “eye catching”. SC: Well, I’ve had them click right out of my hand.
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