Saturday, July 25, 2009

Everything is Bigger in Texas

This is an Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus octulatus).  Its latin name sounds like a spell out of Harry Potter.  Its 'eyes' aren't eyes at all.  Scientists normally think of the false eyes as a protection against predators, but this kind of beetle has a much cooler response.  It jumps straight up in the air and lets out a loud click, thus the name.
Its life cycle can take from 4-8 years to complete.  Most of it spent underground as a larvae known as the wireworm.  I found two completely different ideas about the usefulness of the larvae.  Several sites mention the destructiveness of the wireworm to crops.  Others mention that the wireworm as a voracious predator of wood boring beetle larvae.  In other words, they are good guys.  No site mentions both ideas.  Hmmm?

It doesn't look so big in the first picture, but the second picture gives you the true size.  At least my nail is clean(ish).  I'm not a big fan getting this near large insects, but I know that this one is harmless.  Lee brought one in the house the other night.  On his hand.
I'm fascinated by bugs, but do not need to hold them and really don't need them in the house. He took it outside.  He's good that way.


  1. That is a HUGE bug - gives me the eeby jeebies! I like watching bugs like that but I would freak slap out if it got on me!