April 4, 2011
Coastal North Carolina
Hello Bug Man,
I have been wondering what is this bug for a while. We have all this pencil sized holes in the ground in our yard. I’ve never seen this bug out of it’s hole. We pulled it out by fishing it out with a pine needle. It has a worm like body with a flat head and large pinchers. When you pull them out of the holes they seem very vicious attacking anything you have near them. That might be just us making the bug mad. The bug is about an inch and a half long. I’d would really like to know what they are called. Thank you for all your help!
P.S. He went back down the hole after we took this picture.
We are almost certain this is a Ground Beetle Larva in the family Carabidae, but we do not recognize the species or genus. We found a photo on BugGuide that is unidentified and looks similar, but the mandibles on your specimen are even larger. Tiger Beetles in the subfamily Cicindelinae live in holes, but they have a very distinguishing profile (See BugGuide) that your photo does not illustrate, but we would put money down on this being a Tiger Beetle Larva. Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in the identification of the hole dwelling Ground Beetle Larva.