An "Eyed" Click Beetle
Alaus oculatus can reach a length of about 25–45 millimetres (1.0–1.8 in). They have an elongated body, black in color throughout. The pronotum exhibits a large oval patch of darker scales, framed in white, on each side - the common name of the beetle derives from this feature. The elytra are striated and mottled with silvery whitish scales. The "false eyes" depicted on the pronotum are a defensive adaption designed to confuse or frighten potential predators. The eyespots are a form of self-mimicry, in which one part of the body has adapted to mimic another body part. Like all click beetles, A. oculatus is also capable of suddenly catapulting itself out of danger by releasing the energy stored by a click mechanism, which consists of a stout spine on the prosternum and a matching groove in the mesosternum.