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Elaterid - Aeolus mellillus

Elaterid - Aeolus mellillus
Tippecanoe County, Indiana, USA
November 27, 2006
Size: 7 mm
Aeolus mellillus (Say).

Moved from Aeolus.

I speculated on A. mellillus
here based on the U. of Alberta photo, but wondered whether it might instead be A. amabilis, apparently widespread but I couldn't find any images on the web. Jim also considered mellillus here; the blackish marking on the elytra of his beetle is more extensive than mine.

Do you know if amabilis look much different than mellillus?

Very similar
A. amabilis and A. mellillus are similar in appearance. mellillus is generally larger (5 to 7.5 mm) while amabilis is smaller (4 to 4.5 mm). This comes from Downie & Arnett's Beetles of NE NA who list three species in this genus. The other species is A. debilis, which is much darker overall. The color pattern on mellillus is probably variable, accounting for some of the differences seen. I think size is the best distinguishing factor between the two.
Your image is hard to tell which it is since its right at the middle of the two size ranges, but its probably A. mellillus.

Also worth mentioning that American Beetles states there are 14 species in this genus in NA.

Thanks for the info, Brad
In comparing my 2 photos against other images of bugs that I've measured, it looks like my "about 5 mm" was an underestimate. More like 6-7 mm, so I'm sure you're right about mine being mellillus.

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