Friday, July 03, 2015

World's fastest accelerator -- not what you might think!

Eyed Click Beetle, photo Sally Kneidel
Saw this beautiful big click beetle on the deck a few days ago, about an inch long. If clicked away after one picture, disappearing into the brush.

The two black spots are fake eyes that startle birds and other predators and give the beetle a chance to get away. Lots of butterflies and caterpillars have fake eye spots for the same reason.

Click beetles move by suddenly snapping their body at the middle -- they do that by pulling a peg on the thorax out of a tight groove, sort of like pop beads. When they do that, their body flips away, accelerating faster than any other animal on the planet. They don't go very far, especially the little brown click beetles that are so common. But this Eyed Click Beetle moved fast enough to get away from me and my camera. I couldn't find it again.

Thank you little beetle for letting me take the one picture!

1 comment:

Betsy said...

So we now know, absolutely, that something moves faster than Robin. Your picture is awesome. I think fake eyes are something we should all consider. I am sorry, however, that this poor critter is saddled with the name of Eyed Click Beetle.