As we prepared to head out for the last net check of the day, Flo noticed this fellow clinging to a long-sleeved shirt she had hung on the back of her chair.
The Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus oculatus) looks like it has two big eyes on an oversized head, but really, those are just spots on the thorax.
The word “click” comes from an unusual behavior. This passage from a University of Michigan website describes it better than I can:
This species of beetle has a unique method for righting itself after it has been flipped on its back. The beetle has a hinged joint between the head and thorax of its body that allows it to arch its back and then quickly snap the hinge and slam a hard extension of its back into the ground, thus propelling the beetle into the air up to six inches and allowing it to flip over (Evans and Bellamy 1996). (source)
Indeed, if you grab the beetle between the thorax and abdomen, it will make this movement between your fingers:
Instead of tagging along for the last net check and helping take down the nets, I selfishly stayed behind in the hopes of watching the beetle demonstrate its unique behavior.
I was punished for my selfishness. He never flipped for me.