While relaxing in my hammock recently at Fort De Soto Park, I felt someone watching me. Turning carefully around, I encountered this intriguing-looking insect.
Despite the common name of Eastern Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus oculatus), the ovate white rings are not sensory organs. Instead, they are an example of a defensive mechanism designed to thwart predation.
At roughly two inches long this is not a tiny insect and those false eyes certainly make it appear larger. But that’s not all, as a click beetle it can also spring away quickly (which makes a loud clicking sound). I wish I had witnessed this action. Maybe next time!