It Came From Outer Space!

Yesterday I mentioned I’d post about a cool bug, and you’re about to get more bug than you bargained for.  First, the alarming little guy that was caught in the net was an eyed click beetle.

click-beetle.jpg

I say he was alarming not only for his false “eyes” that are intended to scare off predators, but for a scary little habit of jumping or clicking when touched.  This beetle seems to be hinged together and can snap right out of your hands – assuming you were brave enough to pick it up in the first place.  The whole post today was going to be about this bug, but then I remembered!  I’ve got the Bug to End All Bugs stowed away in that little treasure box!  Perfect!

Now, this is a BUG!

rhinoandwashington.jpg

This is a rhinocerous beetle, also called a Hercules beetle. This one is perfectly preserved, but was barely alive when a little boy brought it to me some years ago in Kentucky.  He had more nerve than me, because even handling this bug to take these photos creeped me out.  It is a beautiful specimen though, if you like fascinating critters.  Look at the tiny little dots going down the center line where the wings (are they wings?  These things FLY?) come together.  They look like a sewing machine has laid down a row of stitches. 

rhinobeetlefringe1.jpg

And check out the butt-end fringe!  I have no idea what that’s for, and can’t seem to find any references about it.  There’s some good information on this site.  Apparently, these beetles are harmless. The horns on the one I have are quite large, which means it was a well-nourished male.  Horns are used for fighting off other males during mating season, and are harmless to humans. Um hum.  I’m never going to test THAT theory!

rhinohead1.jpg

Life is good, but can also be creepy!  Tomorrow – we’re back to soft, colorful, pretty birds!

16 Responses to “It Came From Outer Space!”

  1. KGMom Says:

    Whoa–that’s some set of horns on the rhino beetle. I agree–some things are amazing yet creepy.
    I agree–the “stitching” on the beetle’s back does look like someone took a sewing machine to it!

  2. Lynne at Hasty Brook Says:

    Whoooa!

    We read about those rhinocerous beetles last weekend.
    How big is that eyed click beetle?

    My mouth is still hanging open!

  3. Ruth Says:

    I don’t think I am brave enough to start exploring the beetle world. Better to admire your pictures. Harmless or not, I wouldn’t to pick one up.

  4. Nina Says:

    I remember playing with click beetles as a child. We’d turn them on their backs on the floor and watch to see them click back to right-side up. It’s amazing how HIGH they click!

  5. obi4240 Says:

    Lynne – the photo is deceiving, the click beetle is only about an inch long and very thin.

  6. cynthia Says:

    Years and years ago, beside a lake in North Carolina, a HUGE beetle flew into our camp -so big it shocked even the menfolks. I am not kidding! But after a while they cut it into 8 pieces for bait. I felt bad, and these days I would insist they let it go.

  7. Renee Says:

    Thank you so much! We found one of these critters on our back porch and quickly ran inside to find out what it was. We had kept our distance because it was VERY large and we had NO idea what it was or if it could hurt us. My daughter LOVES animals, snakes, lizards and other creepy things and living in FL we have had many chances to observe a lot of truly unique species up close and personal (just last week we watched as “our” black racer climbed through our butterfly garden and checked the large plants for small lizards). Thanks again!

  8. obi4240 Says:

    Glad to be of help, Renee. I lived in FL for 10 years and yes, you have LOTS of creepy crawlies there! Have fun!

  9. shawna Says:

    My 5 yr old boy found this click beetle on our pourch, just need to know about it and what it eats and what ever else I need to know about this little guy

  10. Naomi Says:

    I have some excellent pics of a click beetle I just took if you are interested. It was almost two inches.

  11. noah Says:

    About a month after moving into our new home in texas my wife and i found an eyed click beetle at the bottem of our fronts steps.. it was a little over 3 inches maybe 4 inches long and about an inch and a half to 2 inches wide.. our new neighbor came over and picked it up to show us what it could do.. it is loud and it can jump pretty high a little to freaky for me.. and i play with bugs all day long

  12. Bill Says:

    We already had a Rhino and some others. We found an Eastern Eyed Click Beetle (about 2 inches long) today, first we’ve seen.

  13. marleigh Says:

    wow those little things are pretty weird. i mean my brother and i found a small click beetle we put it in a jar and came to research it! i think it is funny to watch it click.can you tell me more about it?

  14. laura Says:

    i was just googling ‘beetles with large ‘eyes’ on back (because i have taken 2 pic’s over the past few days of dead ones)…and found your blog!! love this!! i take all kinds of ‘nature’ pic’s and will enjoy it here!! thanks!!

  15. » Butterfly Facts Butterfly Facts Says:

    […] It Came From Outer Space! « Natural Notes – Yesterday I mentioned I’d post about a cool bug, and you’re about to get more bug than you bargained for. First, the alarming little guy that was caught in the net was an eyed click beetle. click-beetle.jpg. I say he was alarming … […]


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