Thursday, December 07, 2006

Eyed Elator

And now for some non-bird blogging...

This insect is an Eyed Elator, also known as Wide-Eyed Elator and Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus oculatus). It belongs to the family Elateridae, the click beetles. Eyed Elators are common through much of the eastern United States and can be found almost year-round in the south, though they are most common in spring. Its larvae are hosted by rotting wood.

This individual was on the boardwalk trail on Roosevelt Island earlier this week. It was already dead, so photographing it was easy. As measured by the grip patches on my glove, it is about 40 mm or a little over 1.5 inches in length. The false eye spots are very distinctive.

I was able to identify this insect by browsing through the responses and photographs on What's That Bug?