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Species Melanactes piceus

Black patent leather click beetle - Melanactes piceus Cicada bounty - Melanactes piceus Melanactes piceus Melanactes piceus (De Geer) - Melanactes piceus Large glossy elater - Melanactes piceus Click Beetle - Melanactes piceus Giant click beetle - Melanactes piceus Elateridae ID - Melanactes piceus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Elateriformia)
Superfamily Elateroidea (Click, Firefly and Soldier Beetles)
Family Elateridae (Click Beetles)
Subfamily Oxynopterinae
Genus Melanactes
Species piceus (Melanactes piceus)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Melanactes piceus (DeGeer)
Orig. Comb: Elater piceus De Geer, 1775
Explanation of Names
pice (L). 'pitch black' (1)
Numbers
6 spp., all Nearctic (2)
Size
23-32 mm length (large) (3)
Identification
A large, "polished black" click beetle (3). Blatchley (4) describes this species:
Striae on disk of elytra not at all impressed, their punctures very fine and separated one from another by more than their own diameters; intervals flat, very minutely and indistinctly punctulate (from key)....Elongate, subdepressed. Black, strongly shining; antennae and tarsi piceous. Thorax a little longer than broad, slightly narrowed in front and at base of hind angles; sides feebly curved, strongly margined; disk finely, sparsely and shallowly punctate, more densely at sides. Elytra with sides parallel to middle, thence feebly narrowed into a rounded apex (description).
(Note that this historical reference should not necessarily be relied on for keying, but the narrative description should be valid.)
Range
e US (TX-GA-NY-NE) (5)
Habitat
Dillon and Dillon state "adults "found beneath stones and rubbish in dry locations" (3). (They are almost surely quoting Blatchley (4).) Observed in Piedmont of North Carolina common on vegetation in moist bottomland forests (personal observation, May 2010, see caption to photo).
Season
mostly May-Jun (4)(6)(BG data)
Print References
Blatchley, pp. 738, 770-771 (4)
Brimley, p. 167, notes from Mountains and Piedmont of North Carolina--May-June (6)
Dillon and Dillon, p. 326, plate 32 (3)
Works Cited
1.Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms
Donald J. Borror. 1960. Mayfield Publishing Company.
2.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
3.A Manual of Common Beetles of Eastern North America
Dillon, Elizabeth S., and Dillon, Lawrence. 1961. Row, Peterson, and Company.
4.An illustrated descriptive catalogue of the Coleoptera or beetles (exclusive of the Rhynchophora) known to occur in Indiana.
Blatchley, W. S. 1910. Indianapolis,Nature Pub. Co.
5.Texas A&M University Insect Collection (TAMUIC)
6.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.