Eyed Click Beetle (Eyed Elater)

Photo of eyed click beetle on bark
Scientific Name
Alaus oculatus
Elateridae (click beetles) in the order Coleoptera (beetles)

The eyed click beetle, or eyed elater, is common in the eastern part of our country. It lives in deciduous forests, where the larvae grow in decaying logs, preying on longhorn beetle grubs. The adults can be 1¾ inches long.

The eyespots on the pronotum make predators hesitate to attack. The click beetle’s real eyes are much smaller and positioned behind the antennae, on the insect’s true head.

Close relatives of this species live to the south and west of our state. Learn more about the eyed elater and other click beetles in their family page.

Other Common Names
Eastern Eyed Click Beetle
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Similar Species
About Land Invertebrates in Missouri
Invertebrates are animals without backbones, including earthworms, slugs, snails, and arthropods. Arthropods—invertebrates with “jointed legs” — are a group of invertebrates that includes crayfish, shrimp, millipedes, centipedes, mites, spiders, and insects. There may be as many as 10 million species of insects alive on earth today, and they probably constitute more than 90 percent all animal species.