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Melanotus - Melanotus depressus - male

Melanotus - Melanotus depressus - Male
Hancock County, Indiana, USA
May 9, 2011
Size: 12 mm
Found at UV light. Elytron length = 8.5 mm.

Attempted to key and arrived at M. similis. However, examination of genitalia shows this can't be right. The parameres are straight edged with no apical blade. That eliminates most of the similis group, so it must have a mandibular pit that I can't make out.

Images of this individual: tag all
Melanotus - Melanotus depressus - male Melanotus - Melanotus depressus - male

Moved from Melanotus morosus.

Moved from Melanotus.

Again, darker than othes but the shape of the parameres and size and shape of mandibular pit are more c/w morosus than depressus.

image the genitilia here, too, if possible...


was on the right train of thought with these, just picked the wrong one of the two-LOL.

Thanks for the follow-up; certainly a 'depressing' group of beetles :)

IDing Melanotus--it's the pits
finding the mandibular pit can be a pain sometimes. I will often fo back a few times double-checking, and if they get filled with mud/dirt it makes it worse. The gestalt does look like a member of the similis-group but may be deceiving at this slightly off-set angle. If you send it sometime and I can look at the genitilia that'd be great.

Typically, when I get to the end of the similis group in Quate and Thompson's key, I use vague external characters to break them into similis or communis unless I can see genitilia. Most specimens I seem to collect or are sent to me are females! There are a few others near communis that I kinda dismiss without genitilic examination (and until I see vouchers myself I, and other clicker experts I've talked to, doubt their validity).

Found over a dozen more on the 21st, almost all male. A cursory examination of male genitalia seems to indicate they may all be the same. I'm thinking it is M. depressus, but we'll know for sure when I get around to sending you some.

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