Please help identify the insect in the attached picture. It was found in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas, today, April 18 2023. It is about 0.25 inches long.

Update in response to comment: It was found in the backyard of my house, in shallow soil that I had recently been digging in and re-grading. The white background in the picture is a potting soil bag I flicked it onto to get a better look.

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


The thorax is all wrong for a juvenile cockroach as others have suggested. (A cockroach would have an enlarged prothorax covering the head, as well as plate-like meso-and meto-thoraxes). Also, the antennae are too short.


Based on the size, location (soil), and body shape (especially indent at base of pornotum, apparent split between elytra seen at the right of your image, and the short filliform antennae), it is much more likely this is some species of ground beetle (Carabidae).

  • According to Wikipedia, "All carabids...have a groove on their fore leg tibiae bearing a comb of hairs used for cleaning their antennae." However, your image does not provide enough clarity to effectively check (though perhaps th right leg showing a spur associated with this groove?).

According to Wikipedia:

more than 40,000 species worldwide, around 2,000 of which are found in North America and 2,700 in Europe.[3] As of 2015, it is one of the 10 most species-rich animal families

As such, I do not intend to try to identify this to species.

  • Here is a key to Oregon species to demonstrate variability in morphology as well as to emphasize structures to emphasize when trying to ID to species level.

Although I do not believe this to be your species, I wanted to include an image of an example specimen for reference:

enter image description here

Amber-colored Ground Beetle - Platynus brunneomarginatus. Photo credit: Jim Moore (2018); Bugguide.net

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @theforestecologist, that is great. Eliminating roach as a possibility helps a lot. $\endgroup$
    – Mike Finch
    Apr 21, 2023 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ Another possible difficulty with this specimen is the teneral appearance (I find it possible that the animal had only recently emerged from its pupa); the same animal seen a few hours (or more) later might be considerably darker. $\endgroup$
    – user32396
    Jun 2, 2023 at 18:56

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