Species of Elaphrus
Known to Occur in Maine

( Click on any photo for an enlarged view. )

Scientific Name Distribution & Ecology in Maine General Distribution (mostly from Lindroth, 1961-69 & Bousquet & Larochelle, 1993*)
Elaphrus americanus americanus Dejean

Actual length: 7.1-8.6 mm
Northern in Maine, probably reaching no farther south than southern Somerset County. Easily confused with E. californicus, below. Found on moist or wet soil, sand to clay, with at least some open patches, by slow or standing waters. This specimen is from Fairfield (Somerset County). Transamerican from Newfoundland and Maine west to central and southern Alaska; north to Churchill, Manitoba (on Hudson's Bay), south to Iowa, Wyoming and the Sierra Nevada of California.
Elaphrus californicus Mannerheim

Actual length: 6.3-8.0 mm
Throughout Maine. On wet, fine sand or silt and finer inorganic substrates, on margins of still waters (ponds, including in particular those in gravel pits), as well as along larger streams. Often confused with E. americanus (above), which occurs across a more northern belt. E. californicus is wider, with more rounded elytra and a broader and deeper "V" on lateral margins of elytra behind shoulder. This specimen is from Unity (Waldo County). Transcontinental in North America, from Nova Scotia to central Alaska, southern limit not completely known, but extends to California (type locality) in the west.
Elaphrus ruscarius Say

Actual length: 6.7-7.2 mm
Not common; on clay-mixed sand along streams. Slenderer but otherwise difficult to distinguish from E. californicus; reliable identifications require genitalic extraction. (This specimen is from Kirk Lake, Ontario.) Generally eastern U.S. and southeasternmost Canada (S. Ontario, S. Quebec), west to Minnesota; south to Florida and Louisiana.
Elaphrus cicatricosus LeConte

Actual length: 8.8-9.2 mm
Relatively uncommon in collections, because it's most commonly to be found on bare ground beneath alder thickets along streams, a difficult area in which to collect. This specimen is from Fairfield (SomersetCounty). Generally northeastern U.S. and southeasternmost Canada (S. Ontario, S. Quebec); south at least to Virginia and Mississippi.
Elaphrus clairvillei Kirby

Actual length: 8.3-9.9 mm
Throughout the state; on bare, wet substrates, typically organic-rich; sites often shaded and surrounded by rich sedge-moss marshland. This specimen is from Cape Elizabeth (Cumberland County). Transamerican from Newfoundland to British Columbia and central Alaska, south to California and New Mexico in the west; southern limit in the East apparently in Ohio, New York and Massachusetts.
Elaphrus olivaceous LeConte

Actual length: 7.2-8.0 mm
Generally in northern Maine, southernmost specimens from Fairfield (Somerset County), Mt. Vernon (Kennebec County) and Rumford (Oxford Co.). In eutrophic sedge-moss marshes, where there are at least spots of bare mud; less common on detrital organic substrates than E. clairvillei. This specimen is from Brighton Plantation (Somerset County). East of the Rockies, from Newfoundland to the Northwest Territories, south to New England and probably also in the Adirondacks of New York.

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This page last modified 31 January, 2002.