Eyed Click Beetle (Eyed Elater)

Alaus oculatus


Photo of eyed click beetle on bark
The eyed click beetle, or eyed elater (Alaus oculatus), is one of many species of click beetles.
Jim Rathert
Other Common Name
Eastern Eyed Click Beetle

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.


click beetle walking on a fallen limb
Eyed Click Beetle
The eyed click beetle is only one of about 1,000 species of click beetles in North America. Most of the others are drab in comparison.

click beetle-20180525-2323.jpeg

A mottled black beetle with large black eyespots on its thorax rests on the end of a stick.
Eyed Click Beetle in Springfield, MO
Eyed Click Beetle (Eyed Elater)