An obvious waist in the center of the Ground Beetles in the genus Scarites help differentiate them other large, black beetles.
Beetles in the Scarites genus are sometimes mistaken for a type of Stag Beetle. All are long, narrow, and black with large curved jaws in the front of the face. An obvious distinguishing feature is the narrow waist that connects the pronotum and the abdomen. The head is wide with two depressions, one one each side. The semi-circle-shaped pronotum is a curved by the waist but is straight behind the head. It has an indentation down the center and another that sits along the straight edge. The elytra that cover the wings are shiny with ridges or grooves. There are almost 10 species in North America and they are all so similar in appearance, exact measurements and close observation of various features are needed to tell many of them apart.
Like other Ground Beetles, members of the Scarites genus are typically found walking along the forest floor, garden beds, open fields and other places where they may happen upon a meal. Adults eat caterpillars and other insects, so look for them in areas where insects hide or congregate like under logs, stones and leaf litter.
Scientific Name: Scarites spp.
Size (Adult; Length): 14mm to 30mm (0.55in to 1.17in)
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Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.