Eyed Click Bug (Alaus oculatus) Ovipositing

On May 26th 2012, this click beetle began laying her eggs on a log along the Orange trail of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens, GA. These beetles are quite noticeable due to their large size and distinctive eye patterns on their pronotum. At the beginning of the video (while she is stationary), you can see some very tiny red mites walking across her body.

She wondered around on a downed tree and assessed possible egg laying sites. She frequently probed suitability using her ovipositor. She then oviposited at the base of a tree fungus known as red rot (Dichomitus squalens). This observation has been registered in iNaturalist.org.

The family Elateridae is commonly called click beetles, elaters, snapping beetles, spring beetles or “skipjacks”. There are about 9300 known species of click beetles worldwide. Most species are brown to black in color, although some have reddish and yellowish colors and patterns. The shape of the pronotum might have evolved to avoid spider attacks. One individual observed in Germany was recorded as it escaped from a spider web by slipping out of the tight knit web spun around its pronotum:

click beetle vs. daddy longlegs from Pascal Schneider on Vimeo.

 

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