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Notched-mouth Ground Beetle (Dicaelus purpuratus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Notched-mouth Ground Beetle.




A striking purple beauty, this Notched-mouth Ground Beetle works the night shift, hunting for snails.



 Updated: 6/9/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




A handsome ground beetle found east of the Rocky Mountains, this species may appear purple, blue, or red depending on the angle of the light. It is a nocturnal hunter, roaming the woodland floor for snails, another creature that tends to come out at night. The beetle has large jaws that seem well-suited for reaching the soft part of its meal.

Look for this beetle under rocks and logs during the day where it takes shelter. It is a sizeable beetle and hard to miss, especially if it is vibrant purple.


General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Carabidae [ View More ]
          Genus: Dicaelus [ View More ]
            Species: purpuratus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Descriptors
Scientific Name: Dicaelus purpuratus
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 25mm (0.78in to 0.98in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: purple; black; red
Descriptors: purple metallic; violet; large; purple head; red back; red body; jaws; ridges on back
Relative Size Comparison
Lo: 20mm | Hi: 25mm
Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns.
Territorial Map
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Beetle Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American Beetle insect
1
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used for sensing.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
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Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
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Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
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Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
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Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
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Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.