Following the symposium Katie and I were energized to get out and see some of this Coastal Plain diversity for ourselves! It was quite early in the year, and there wasn't a whole lot to see. But we looked at each find with a new appreciation for what they might represent.
We spent just a short day wandering in the lowland coastal forests around Carolina Beach, NC, in some bald-cypress bog and carnivorous plant habitat, as well as drier longleaf pine areas. The earliness of the season was exemplified by the finding of numerous larvae, including the longhorned and click beetle larvae shown above, as well as several others.
Our adult beetle finds in the pine forest included a newly eclosed Rhagium inquisitor in its pupal shell, not quite ready to face the light of day, an Alobates pensylvanicus (or maybe A. morio - evidently rarer but not easily distinguished), and a fungus weevil, Euparia sp. (maybe E. marmoreus, as suggested by BugGuider Mike Quinn).
We ended the day with a walk on the beach, and a little sifting in the limited coastal dune (hemmed in pretty tightly by housing right up to the beach). The only beetle that turned up was a little scirtid, Cyphon sp. (in one of those genera that seems terminally hopeless for identification), rather a strange place for what is commonly known as a 'marsh beetle'.