The very unique defensive posture of Scarites subterraneus Photo from Bugguide.
This took a bloody century to positively ID based on sheer photographic memory. Mind you I had never seen anything like this before that I can remember. It's very distinctive indeed. I had gone back and forth between several genera of ground beetles (Scarites ironically being the first choice but the angle of the photo had given me doubts and led me to search elsewhere) i.e Pasimachus.
Must've searched pretty much all my books on North American Insects until I wanted to pull my hair out. XD But then looking at another photo of Scarites subterraneus in another one of my books I properly decided to search (more like violate) the internet and found more photos thus "securing" my ID on the little bugger...........
.........that is until Bugguide had so kindly came up with yet another species (Scarites quadriceps) that's insanely similar to S. subterraneus that the only way to tell them apart other then by size is to look at the antennomeres for the difference between the 2.......
Are. you. freaking. kidding. me.?
Oohhh hooo it gets better. Just now after a brief perusal of Bugguide's Scarites guide page in general has led me......more like force me to consider it being one of 2 other species: S. quadriceps or S. vicinus because as stated above you can't ID these beetles with the "naked eye" so to speak.
Someone shoot me. However for now I'm sticking with Scarites subterraneus because the other have no info on them at all whatsoever. And I need info to narrow it down. At least I know definitely that S. subterraneus occurs in NY........I live in NY. *^^*
One question though that might help with narrowing down ID. Bugguide seems to be unsure of the season that S. subterraneus occurs in and lists "Summer?" underneath the season they're supposedly seen in.......
I found mine (assuming it's most definitely S. subterraneus) in November on a beautiful fall day that felt like Spring/Summer.
What's going on? Also mine had adopted said defensive posture when I picked it up....I had thought it was dead at first but then regained my common sense back ^^;;;; It was found under a rock surround by tons of leaf litter.
What's going on here? @_@