carabidae

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Tiger beetles, Pseudoxycheila sp. mating by Andreas Kay
Via Flickr:
from Ecuador: www.flickr.com/andreaskay/albums

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Omophron are an atypical genus of Ground Beetle (Carabidae). Commonly known as Round Sand Beetles, the predatory larvae and adults are often found on the beaches of lakes, river and brooks. 

Photos taken by me at Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Predatory ground beetle (Pasimachus sp.). Willistown PA. June 2017.

Predatory ground beetles are a welcome sight in any garden or yard, as they feed on many garden and lawn pests, including grubs and caterpillars. This one was collected in a strawberry garden, using a pitfall trap. Most ground beetles can be collected by burying a plastic cup (solo cup works) until it is flush with the ground, and leaving it exposed overnight. 


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Violin beetle by André De Kesel
Via Flickr:
A peculiar ground beetle showing leaf mimicry (76mm, Mormolyce hagenbachii, Lebiinae, Carabidae). Collection specimen from Malaysia (2014, rainforest, loc. unknown). Studio work; the dried specimen was rehydrated, cleaned, prepared and staged in a greenhouse. Focus stack based on 57 images, assembled in Zerene Stacker (Dmap & Pmax), slightly cropped. Sony A6300 + Metabones adapter + Canon EF 100mm 1:2.8L IS USM; ISO-100, f/4, 1/25s,-0.3step, diffused natural light and lateral ledlight.

Predatory ground beetle (Harpalus spp.), Newark DE. August 2017.

This is about as far as I can ID without having the specimen under a microscrope.

This genus have nearly 60 species represented in North America, well over half of which can be found in the eastern US. Beetles forage for arthropods on the ground, either in the undergrowth of the forest floor or around the crowns of grasses in meadows. Their diet varies by species, with some preferring soft-bodied prey like caterpillars and beetle larvae, whereas others may take seeds or low-lying fruit if they are plentiful.  As they are nocturnal, some individuals are attracted to lights, and may indulge in eating insects that get caught in light traps (personal observation). Their genus name Harpalus is roughly translated from Greek as ‘greedy’, suggesting their voracious appetites. 

Cicindela oregona "Western Tiger Beetle" Carabidae

Olympic National Park, WA
June 6, 2013
Robert Niese

Look for these awesome predators on sandy river banks west of the Cascades. They are lightning fast and voracious hunters, but that doesn’t detract from the beauty of their iridescent exoskeleton!

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I was working on my species assemblage project at the museum today and I came across these gorgeous beetles. The blue ones are Six-Spotted Tiger Beetles (Cicindela sexguttata) and range in colour from green to blue (there was even a bright purple one but the colour didn’t come through in the pictures).

The dark ones are Festive Tiger Beetles (Cicindela scuttelaris lecontei).

I love doing this project!

at the Lyman Entomological Museum at McGill University

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Calosoma, possibly schayeri - Schayer’s Caterpillar Hunter, Fam. Carabidae. According to the Atlas of Living Australia, that species is now in the subgenus Australodrepa. Large carnivorous ground beetles that hunt soft-bodied prey at night. Like most carabs, produces a foul odour when handled. This species was one of the very first I covered in the TIGTIDAW project, but my photo at the time was not worth using. So I’m glad I’ve got these ones.

Moribund, in Singleton, Perth

Bug of the Day

Still hoping to get a species id on Bugguide.net for this one, but it’s too cool to wait to post it. Might look like a stag beetle, but this is actually a ground beetle, Caribidae family, genus Scarites. I accidentally caught it in my flashlight beam as we were heading down a walking path through Cambridge’s Fresh Pond Reservation, at the Bioblitz we did there earlier this month.

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Ground beetles are normally quite skittish in the daytime, but this one (genus Agonum maybe??) was so intent on carrying off its ginormous haul, it stayed right out in the open and didn’t care that I was photographing it. Even more surprising, the giant leopard moth caterpillar (Hypercompe scribonia) it had set its sights on was still alive! I’m not sure how things ended up, when I walked away the caterpillar was still being tugged along by the beetle but kept obstinately trying to go off in the opposite direction.