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Eyed click beetle, Alaus oculatus (Coleoptera: Elateridae)

Eyed click beetle, Alaus oculatus (Coleoptera: Elateridae)Millie Davenport, ©2020, Clemson Extension

Eyed click beetle, Alaus oculatus (Coleoptera: Elateridae)
Millie Davenport, ©2020, Clemson Extension

Eyed click beetle, Alaus oculatus, is a relatively large beetle found throughout eastern North America. The Entomological Society of America’s approved common name is “eyed click beetle,” although it is colloquially called the “eyed elater” or the “big-eyed elater.”

A conspicuous diagnostic characteristic of Alaus oculatus is two large false eyes (eyespots) on the dorsal side of the thorax. The true, functional eyes are much smaller and located on either side of the head, slightly behind the antennae.

Like many other beetle larvae, the larvae of eyed click beetle are found in dark, damp places such as under logs. The larvae of many click beetles are often damaging. However, the larvae of eyed click beetle are ferocious and effective predators of other beetle larvae feeding in decaying wood, making eyed click beetle beneficial, naturally occurring biological control agents.

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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