Eyed Elater

In its earlier life stages, this click beetle is a voracious eater of garden pests.

Tags:
  1. Gardening
Mystery Critter

Mystery Critter

The large spots on the top of this critter's head are false eyes. Its real eyes are small and located near the base of the antennae.

A member of the click beetle family, the eyed elater is a striking spectacle, especially when it rights itself. If turned upside down, it springs several inches in the air with a resonant "click" and lands on its feet.

In its adult stage, the eyed elater is thought to feed on nectar — if it eats at all. But as a larva, when it's known as a wireworm, it's an insect-eating machine. At two inches long, with powerful jaws on its business end and a couple of hooks on its back end, the yellowish segmented worm is a threat to all problematic insect larvae. Even better, the wireworm stays in this form for up to four years, eating garden pests, until it morphs into the eyed elater.

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