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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Beetle insect ID inquiry


Bug found 5/25
Bug found 5/25  
Hi Eric I was refereed to you after posting a question to a different "ask an expert" type page. Here is my original message:

Some friends and I were hiking around the Mt Hood [Oregon] area, off the Mt hood freeway I believe. We came across a very fast moving beetle like insect (it was wingless from what I could tell) It wouldn't stay still enough to get a picture but we have video of it. The attached picture is screenshots of the video my friend took so they are kind of blurry. Is there someone that might be able to help ID it? Mostly we are curious what it is because we don't know much about insects and always like to learn!

Oh I should also add it was last week so late May. Thanks in advance!

Hi, Alycia:

Thanks for including the images, which are fine for what you are asking....

This is a "snail-eating beetle," Scaphinotus angusticollis .  It is a very common, flightless beetle in the conifer forests there.  I grew up in Portland and saw them many times.  Here is more about it:

and, even better:

Thank you for being curious, and sharing your adventures and discoveries. :-)



Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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