Saturday, June 6, 2009

Those Great Big Beautiful Eyes

THIS afternoon I found an enormous beetle on Emma's bed. She said it had been there a while and apparently didn't think it was worth mentioning. This thing was about an inch and a half long with two eyespots and a black speckled back. After a while scrolling through the beetle listings on and, we discovered the identity of our winged friend. It was an Eyed Elator click beetle. Click beetles are so called because when turned on their backs, they quickly flex their body making a clicking sound and flipping in the air to right themselves. It demonstrated this acrobatic feat several times, and it was quite impressive. The eyespots are to discourage predators, to fool birds into thinking they are looking at a much larger creature. It has two sets of wings - the top set are hard covers to protect the softer flying wings. Another interesting thing we discovered was that it appeared to fold its antenna under its body (the left one is not yet unfolded in the first picture). It was quite a beauty, but we did think it deserved a bed of its own.

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