Big Headed Ground Beetle

Vicious pincher?
Location: South-Central Pennsylvania
May 25, 2011 8:43 pm
I’ve been finding about one of these a day in my basement bedroom. This beastly-looking thing was captured and tossed back outside in the grass, where I’d rather they stay. I’m not too keen on being pinched or bitten.
I’ve tried ID’ing it through your site, but there are so many different species of beetle, I don’t know where to begin! I live in south-central Pennsylvania. It’s about half an inch long or so, with an obviously large head, tiny thorax and large abdomen. Can they fly? I would assume this is a PA native?
Signature: Dutch Country Girl

Big Headed Ground Beetle

Dear Dutch Country Girl,
This is a Ground Beetle in the genus
Scarites.  It is most likely Scarites subterraneus, commonly called and aptly named the Big Headed Ground Beetle.  You may read more about it on BugGuide where you will find that it is native to your area as well as to much of the continental U.S.

25 thoughts on “Big Headed Ground Beetle”

  1. We have those vile insects where we are in Southern WI too. Is there any way to prevent them from coming into the 1st floor apartments. We are on a floating slab foundation no basement.

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  2. My 5yr old son keeps catching these nasty looking pinchy Beatles. He thinks they are neat. We live in western new York. I think they are the grossest looking things ever!

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    • Melissa, please don’t discourage your son’s fascination with bugs and nature. I am 60 and still enjoy looking at the things found in nature. Who knows, he might become a biologist someday.

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  3. My daughter found one calling on her face while she was napping! Then it pinched her on her finger. We tried to kill it and we had to cut the head off. It has a pretty tough she’ll!
    We live in Central Oregon.

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  4. My daughter found one calling on her face while she was napping! Then it pinched her on her finger. We tried to kill it and we had to cut the head off. It has a pretty tough she’ll!
    We live in Central Oregon.

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  5. Just found one. If they have pinchers that means they pinch? Thank god i saved my cat…how r they beneficial? Looks more like something to be concerned about to me. ..

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  6. They are tough as heck. I found one alive in the washing machine. He survived the whole wash cycle with HOT water mind you.

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  7. I just found one walking around my bassement, beastly looking bug. I live in Chicago so I’m thinkinh it’s cold outside it found its way inside. I put him back outside lol

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  8. We found 2 in austintown ohio 1 in our backyard one in our kitchen they are ugly and we have 3 Chihuahuas we are protective of

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    • They are not dangerous to your chihuahuas. Our editorial staff is from Youngstown and we still have relatives we visit in Austintown.

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  9. We just found one in our living room. We have never seen one in the 34 years we’ve lived here in Glassboro, NJ. I did get a box in the mail from Kentucky yesterday maybe he’s a traveler..I hope to never find another one.

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    • How ironic, I live in Glassboro and my Wife’s name is Kim.
      I’m 60 and still bring bugs I find in to show the wife and the cats.

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    • How ironic, I live in Glassboro and my Wife’s name is Kim.
      I’m 60 and still bring bugs I find in to show the wife and the cats.

      Reply
  10. I’m in Milwaukee WI we were sitting in the basement and one came crawling up next to me. My cat ? wanted to play with it so bad. But then she eats them and don’t want her getting sick. Are they common first time I have seen one it’s about inch and half long.

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  11. Just found one walking across my ground floor apartment Southern New Jersey. Took it out to the wooded area let it go

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  12. They keep saying big headed ground beetles dont bite well heck i live in Arkansas over in Franklin county and i just got bit by one on my back twice and we dont even know where he came from. But he is a shiny greenish black and looks just like one. Cant find another bug like this been looking. But they do bite and it hurts and leaves a bump. Wish google had answers if its poisonous bite or what it will cause if bit.

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  13. I found this bug on my kitchen floor and it played dead so I wound leave it alone until I put a little water in the container I put it in and it became lively I am gonna put it outside .. I was curious because I haven’t seen one before

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