Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes



Species Scarites subterraneus - Big-headed Ground Beetle

Scarites ? - Scarites subterraneus Black Beetle with pincers - Scarites subterraneus Scarites sp. - Scarites subterraneus Ground Beetle - Scarites subterraneus Big-jawed beetle - Scarites subterraneus Scarites subterraneus (Big-headed Ground Beetle) - Scarites subterraneus 14 mm Scarites - Scarites subterraneus Carabidae, Big-headed Ground Beetle, dorsal - Scarites subterraneus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Adephaga
Family Carabidae (Ground Beetles)
Subfamily Scaritinae
Tribe Scaritini
Genus Scarites
Species subterraneus (Big-headed Ground Beetle)
Other Common Names
Pedunculate Ground Beetle
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Orig. Comb: Scarites subterraneus Fabricius 1775
15-20 mm
Distinctive body form and huge jaws, elytra deeply striated.
As per Downie and Arnett, 1996, The Beetles of Northeastern North America, Volume 1, pp. 104-105, this species can be distinguished from the similar S. quadriceps by the shape of the antennal segments as noted below. The body length quoted by the authors for S. subterraneus is questionable in the opinion of Peter Messer. A better way to distinguish by size appears in the above key.
subterraneus: antennomeres 8-10 each as broad as long (moniliform).
quadriceps: antennomeres 8-10 each longer than broad (filiform).
Downie and Arnett also list a third species in the genus, S. lissopterus, but provide neither the ability to key it out nor a description. They list its distribution as: KS, NM, OK, TX, WI? [latter very unlikely according to Peter Messer].
CA-FL-NY-SD / Ont. (Bousquet & Larochelle 1993)
Under stones, leaf litter, etc., in soil
Two subspecies names, "arkansensis" and "nebraskensis" were proposed in Kyndt and Kyndt 2022. However, these names appear to be invalid.
Print References
Bousquet, Y. and A. Larochelle. 1993. Catalog of the Geadephaga (Coleoptera: Trachypachidae, Rhysodidae, Carabidae Including Cicindelini) of America North of Mexico. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada, 167: 1-397.
Internet References
TAMU live adult image (Bastiaan Drees, Texas A&M U.)
Insects of Cedar Creek pinned adult image (John Haarstad et al, U. of Minnesota)
Torrey adult image and common name reference [Pedunculate Ground Beetle] (Don McIntire, Torrey Pines State Reserve, California)
Ground Beetles of Canada preserved adult image (Henri Goulet, CBIF)
Systema Entomologiae (Fabricius), p.249 Original description of the species (in Latin)
pinned adult image of S. quadriceps (Kirk Larsen, Luther College, Iowa) - right-click the photo and select "View Image" to see an enlarged version showing the elongated antennomeres 8-10