Most species in this complex are variably distributed in eastern North America.
Species in this complex are readily attracted to lights and collected in Lindgren funnel traps. Adults may be collected under bark and in rotting pine and hardwoods.
On BugGuide, this page is a dumping ground for a series of species that cannot be reliably identified to the species-level without examination of male genitalia (1)
The species include:
Melanotus communis (Gyllenhal, 1817)
Melanotus similis (Kirby, 1837)
Melanotus indistinctus Quate, 1967
Melanotus dietrichi Quate, 1967
Melanotus miscellus Quate, 1967
Melanotus verberans (LeConte, 1853)
Melanotus emissus (LeConte, 1853)
The following species are similar but can often be ruled-out by various external characters:
Melanotus decumanus (Erichson, 1842)
Melanotus castanipes (Paykull, 1800)
Melanotus spadix (Erichson, 1842)