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The Eyed Click Beetle: Another ALB “Look-Alike”

The whitespotted sawyer is not the only species which is frequently mistaken for the Asian longhorned beetle. We have received several reports recently from concerned residents who thought they had ALB on their property, but it turned out to be another “look-alike” species: the eyed click beetle (Alaus oculatus).

Unlike ALB, the eyed click beetle is harmless. It is a native species, about 1 to 1 3/4 inches long, that gets its name from its unusual appearance and behavior. On its back are two large black spots surrounded by a white outline which look like eyes and serve to frighten predators away. When it falls on its back, it snaps or “clicks” a hinged joint between its head and thorax. This action springs the beetle into the air so that it can right itself.

The eyed click beetle habitat is dominated by different species of hardwood trees than that of ALB, including cherry, apple and oak. Unlike ALB, eyed click beetles do not attack live trees. Instead, larvae pupate in rotting logs or underground after emerging from eggs laid in the soil. The diet of the eyed click beetle is also different from that of ALB, consisting of grubs during the larva stage, and nectar or plant juices during the adult stage.

If you find an eyed click beetle, you can consider yourself lucky to see this interesting insect up close and can release it “back into the wild”. As always, you can report any potential Asian longhorned beetles using our web form, or by calling 1-866-702-9938.

(Thanks to Helen Rosenberger for giving us permission to use her photo)

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