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Brachinus alternans

Brachinus alternans
Pulaski County, Kentucky, USA
May 12, 2007
Size: 14 mm
Brachinus alternans. Attracted to UV light, I would have missed it if I hadn't accidentally stepped on it, which elicited its popping sound.

Metasternum normal (wings developed), bluish elytra, uniform pubescence on elytra, and mentum/submentum very setose point to this species.

alternans has very prominent costae
i've seen a few dozen specimens, and they all also share square-shouldered elytra, of rather vivid shade of blue

species are very difficult to separate taxonomically as they often differ only by "hair counting" in published keys. Best key to the North American fauna is by Terry Erwin (1970) in Quaestiones Entomologicae 6:4-215.

I need to have a look at that.

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