This awesome fella was found hanging out at the house of one of TLC's staff..they brought in the picture to see if we could figure out what it was. I'm not an entomologist by any means, but the internet is sometimes quite useful (except when it doesn't work) and we ID'ed this fella: A Eastern Eyed Click Beetle.
The two eye spots fake out predators who may just think it is a snake looking at them known in the field of biology of mimicry or Batesian mimicry (a harmless mimic poses as something harmful). A tree snake would think of a bird as a tasty dinner... So you are saying, right harmless--what about my vegetable and flower gardens? He's bound to eat them right?? Our friend the Eastern Eyed Click Beetle, will not do damage to living plants, and their larvae prey on the larvae of wood borers--which is a beneficial thing! So next time you see an Eastern Click Beetle--listen to hear it click (when they are threatened they perform like circus acrobats, flipping over onto their backs, and the hinges in their thorax make a "clicking sound" as it launches into the air)--but don't fear, because your plants are safe. We'll leave the discussion of the ornamental grass that he is perched on for another day---there are many wonderful NATIVE grasses that could go in its place..
Insects, flowers, stones and more--all things you'll learn more about by attending one of TLC's educational programs. Check out this full list HERE
or come out this Saturday to Bucktoe Creek Preserve for our ongoing Sharing Nature with Children program. Be sure to RSVP.