Scorpionfly head/Earwig cerci???
December 5, 2009
I am teaching 5th graders some insect basics. In our “catching” class, one of the students caught this insect. This was in the moist dirt outside the school in Anderson, SC, Dec. 4,2009. 18mm, ant.5 or 6 seg., snout-shaped head, thorax 11seg with 6 legs on no. 9 -11, tarsi 3 seg, leathery dorsal surface, pincer (earwig-type) cerci. The head shape and location of legs is confusing.
Otherwise, it just looks like an earwig. Is this some larval form? Pictures are through a microscope. Help!
Anderson, SC, USA
We are requesting assistance from Eric Eaton with the identification of this larval form. We wish you had sent a photo of the entire specimen. You might also want to consider posting a comment to your own query in the event one of our readers supplies an answer.
Identification by Eric Eaton
Thanks to the magnificent close-up images of all the important body parts, I can tell conclusively that this is the larva of a ground beetle, family Carabidae. The two claws on each leg immediately distinguish carabid larvae from very similar rove beetle larvae (family Staphylinidae). Nice work by the photographer!