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Big-headed Ground Beetle - Scarites subterraneus

Big-headed Ground Beetle - Scarites subterraneus
Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
September 22, 2004

Moved from Scarites.

Scarites species
You didn't mention how you ruled out Scarites quadriceps in determining this was S. subterraneus, so I assume your ID was based on other photos in the Guide, on the Internet, or in a field guide.

In some areas, such as North Carolina, S. subterraneus appears to be more common than S. quadriceps; in other areas, such as Michigan, the situation seems to be reversed, as shown in this PDF doc, where quadriceps is several times more numerous than subterraneus. Both species occur together throughout the northeastern US and southern Ontario.

Until we can distinguish one from the other, I think it's wiser to leave all Scarites beetles at the genus level.

Scarites species
I did use the pictures in this guide as an identifier. It looked like a good match, but I didn't realize there was also S. quadriceps. Is there a distinguishing feature, and can they be determined from a picture ? Thanks for the info.

Scarites species
I don't know whether the two can be distinguished from photos, but if so, nobody here has explained how. Patrick considered the idea here of moving all Scarites images to the genus level, which I think is the safest action at the moment. Otherwise, we may be creating or perpetuating the idea that "all Scarites species are subterraneus" - obviously a myth. So I'll be moving the images shortly.

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