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Photo#215381
Big Blue Ground Beetle larva - Dicaelus

Big Blue Ground Beetle larva - Dicaelus
Twin Creeks Science Center, Sevier County, Tennessee, USA
August 8, 2008
Size: 17mm
Found attacking a snail on the trail up to the Twin Creeks Science Center. Measured by photographing a ruler adjacent to the bug.
We have several beetle larvae resembling this one in the guide, and there has been some debate about their identity as to family:

Phil Harpootlian, when consulted during the BugGuide 2008 Swarm, opined that this is a carabid larva. (Beetle expert David Maddison, in comments to the Flickr image here states he believes this is a Dicaelus.)

Search for photos from gathering_2008.
Image updated 3/8/19.

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Big Blue Ground Beetle larva - Dicaelus Big Blue Ground Beetle larva - Dicaelus

Moved
Moved from Larvae. (Beetle expert David Maddison, in comments to the Flickr image here states he believes this is a Dicaelus.)

Like parent like child?
Like imago like larva? I wonder if this could be a young Scaphinotus or Sphaeroderus, which are both snail-eaters as adults.

(Had to correct my comment below.)

Like parent like child?
Like imago like larva? I wonder if this is a young Scaphinot*us or Scaphinot*us, which are both snail-eaters as adults.

 
good idea
Yes, somebody else wondered about Scaphinotus at the gathering--great beetle minds think alike. Another random thought I had was that this might be a Dicaelus, also sometimes a snail predator as an adult. And it is in the same subfamily as the example Phil links to below.
This is so distinctive, I can't help but think somebody out there will recognize it.

I continue to be amazed at the ability of insects with complete metamorphosis to have coding for two quite different body plans contained in one genome. This larva is incredible--it is not at all grub-like, but an active predator.

example

Moved
Moved from Ground Beetles.

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