Entomology (Study of Bugs)/bug?



There was this black/dark brown bug crawling around the back yard around our swimming pool area. It had quite the amount of legs in front. I don't know if it had back legs but I think it might have. But the legs and body are big in front then it gets smaller down it's middle and back. It's body is also in a divided pattern. Like its bumpy. You will see what I mean. Kinda like a pede. I don't think it had antlers and instead looks like it has something like what looks to be pinchers. What bug is this?

Dear Douglas - First off, please let me apologize for the delay in responding to your question; I was away from home from Thursday through yesterday evening, and forgot to put myself on 'Vacation' status. That aside, what you have here is a larva of a ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae). They are general predators on other small arthropods, and thus usually considered as beneficial; see http://tinyurl.com/nu86whu for images and more detailed information.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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