Many hypotheses have been thrown around regarding the evolution of adaptive value of false eyespots in insects, e.g. 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. A member of the housekeeping staff at this retirement community had been bitten by one of the beetles. P hoto by Sarah Rayner Click beetles are fascinating! However, no behavioral data exists for click beetles to help understand functional significance of their eyespots. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. 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. Accordingly, eyespots are often dark in the center, strongly contrasting with a bright outer ring. Found on my doorstep, photographed on a nearby dead and burnt tree. 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%). A natural history blog by Christian Alessandro Perez-Martinez. The click beetle is also “eye catching”. ( Log Out /  It’s likely the hinge mechanism between the pronotum and abdomen was damaged. SC: Well, I’ve had them click right out of my hand. The eyespots on the pronotum make predators hesitate to attack. The huge false eyespots make it readily identifiable; it is thought these startle predators into thinking they are confronting an … They are a cosmopolitan beetle family characterized by the unusual click mechanism they possess. It lives in deciduous forests, where the larvae grow in decaying logs, preying on longhorn beetle grubs. 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%). Eyed click beetles are no exception. Eastern-Eyed Click Beetle . The beetle accomplishes this by snapping its fingerlike spine. Although this Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus oculatus) looks ferocious with its large, black “eyespots” (actual eyes are below antennae), it is harmless to humans. 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). AE: Oh, they’re great. Eyed Click Beetle. According to, there are six Alaus species in North America, one, appropriately named Alaus myops. Elateridae or click beetles (or "typical click beetles" to distinguish them from the related families Cerophytidae and Eucnemidae) are family of beetles. This beetle gets its name from the clicking sound the overturned beetle makes when it flips itself into the air and hopefully lands upright. If you look closely at this beetle you will notice the white ring around each eyespot is incomplete. There are a few other families of Elateroideain which a few members have the same mechanism, but most elaterid subf… 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.