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Carabid - Elaphropus obesulus

Carabid - Elaphropus obesulus
Mt. Graham, Graham County, Arizona, USA
August 5, 2009
Size: 3mm

Elaphropus obesulus (Leconte)
is a much better fit than E. nebulosus noted below. The most obvious difference is the large body size (ABL ~3 mm) and much broader elytra relative to the pronotum. "obesulus" = "fat". Also note the 4 ill-defined spots on the elytra which are characteristic. Known from southern AZ, CA, and Mexico. I followed the key by Hayward (1900) which is still useful. I observed that the elytral luster was somewhat iridescent, another clue perhaps. See the Texas record for a similar appearing specimen that likely represents a range extension for this species.

Thanks Peter
You did a lot of work identifying this and all the other southwestern beetles. I really appreciate the effort, and will look for more carabids on any of my future trips.

Elaphropus nebulosus [this note superseded by above]
is a temporary fit based on my microscopic examination of this specimen. Range: scattered from SC to AZ & UT. This was a difficult identification as no single modern comprehensive key exists for North American Elaphropus. I was able to exclude the few similar southwestern species based on a literature search of original species accounts and/or viewing some online type specimens. This is a bit large at 3 mm body length vs max 2.8 mm reported in literature. Superficially this species appears like an enlarged Elaphropus anceps with the usual pale "clouds" (hence "nebulous") at elytral shoulders and apices, but distinguished by three separate large punctures at central base of pronotum (not visible in image). This image shows dorsum to be darker than actual specimen. Thanks Tom.

Moved from Ground Beetles.

must be Elaphropus

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