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An amazing little insect I would NOT mess with…in it’s larval form as seen here OR the adult!
This I THINK is called a Snail Hunter Beetle…not really sure on correct names so if anyone has ideas?
He was found in Kansas in the fall, munching inside it’s hosting dinner bowl, while I was out looking for mushrooms, fungi, insects and anything else of interest. When I found it, definately thought, ‘INTERESTING!’, and photographed him at several angles. I was even able to pick up the shell and put on different foliage for different colors. The insect didn’t move a bit.
When still in larval form like this, they are amazing hunters. I’ve seen them dig lines in the dirt to trap food in the grooves they’ve formed, have seen them dig out worms and caterpillars…they’re just amazing!
The adult form of this guy is a huge beetle (I think?)….by North American standards anyway. They will let out an odor that just REEKS if you pester them, which, yes, I have. The larval and adult forms both have jaws that aren’t comfortable when attached to your skin so handle with care (my son told me to warn everyone).
NE Kansas, USA
Photographed with my pocket camera, an amazing flip-open Olympus IR-500. Don’t ever knock their capabilities!

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