Warrior Beetle (Pasimachus sp.)

These huge black beetles (about 3cm long) are surprising to find. They look formidable, and will bite if pressed, but prefer to run away and hide under things. I found this one under my garbage can.

This key at the entomology department of the University of Florida keys this as a Pasimachus floridanus, but bugguide.net does not even have that species, suggesting that P. floridanus is now a subset of P. subsulcatus, so all I can safely say about it is that it’s a member of the genus Pasimachus. The photo below left, when I tried to identify it, came back as possibly being P. sublaevis, so who knows. (This is a different individual than the one above, and a different individual than the photo below right.)

Pasimachus beetles are wingless, with their elytra fused into a single hard protective shell. They live in and around leaf litter, eating caterpillars, crickets, and basically anything smaller than themselves. They are formidable ground-based predators, apparently making popular pets because they “tear apart” prey entertainingly (for the humans watching).

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