Ground Beetles


Summary 2

Ground beetles are a large, cosmopolitan family of beetles, Carabidae, with more than 40,000 species worldwide, approximately 2,000 of which are found in North America and 2,700 in Europe.

SoCal Status 3

Very common all through the US including all of SoCal with multiple records in BugGuide for each county.

Known Species per The California Beetle Database .
Abaris splendidula
Agonum decorum
Agonum fallianum
Agonum ferruginosum
Agonum fossigerum
Agonum limbatum
Agonum pacificum
Agonum punctiforme
Agonum subsericeum
Agonum suturale
Agonum variolatum
Akephorus marinus
Amara aurata
Amara californica
Amara conflata
Amara insignis
Amara insularis
Amara jacinto
Amara jacobina
Amara littoralis
Amara longula
Amara pomona
Amara scitula
Amara specularis
Amara undetermined
Amblycheila schwarzi
Anchomenus funebris
Anisodactylus amaroides
Anisodactylus anthracinus
Anisodactylus californicus
Anisodactylus consobrinus
Anisodactylus porosus
Anisodactylus similis
Anisodactylus undetermined
Apristus liratus
Apristus undetermined
Axinopalpus fusciceps
Badister ferrugineus
Bembidion approximatum
Bembidion bifossulatum
Bembidion carinatum
Bembidion connivens
Bembidion conspersum
Bembidion ephippigerum
Bembidion festivum
Bembidion flavopictum
Bembidion flohri
Bembidion horni
Bembidion impotens
Bembidion indistinctum
Bembidion insulatum
Bembidion iridescens
Bembidion jacobianum
Bembidion laticeps
Bembidion mexicanum
Bembidion mundum
Bembidion nubiculosum
Bembidion palosverdes
Bembidion platynoides
Bembidion quadrimaculatum dubitans
Bembidion recticolle
Bembidion scudderi
Bembidion striola
Bembidion tigrinum
Bembidion timidum
Bembidion transversale
Bembidion trechiforme
Bembidion versicolor
Bembidion vile
Brachinus costipennis
Brachinus favicollis
Brachinus fidelis
Brachinus gebhardis
Brachinus imperialensis
Brachinus lateralis
Brachinus mexicanus
Brachinus pallidus
Brachinus quadripennis
Bradycellus aridus
Bradycellus californicus
Bradycellus intermedius
Bradycellus nitidus
Bradycellus politus
Bradycellus puncticollis
Bradycellus rivalis
Bradycellus rupestris
Calathus advena
Calathus ruficollis
Calleida platynoides
Calosoma affine
Calosoma cancellatum
Calosoma dietzii
Calosoma eremicola
Calosoma latipenne
Calosoma parvicolle
Calosoma peregrinator
Calosoma placerum
Calosoma semilaeve
Calosoma simplex
Calosoma sponsum
Calybe laetula
Chlaenius cumatilis
Chlaenius glaucus
Chlaenius harpalinus
Chlaenius leucoscelis
Chlaenius obsoletus
Chlaenius pennsylvanicus
Chlaenius ruficauda
Chlaenius undetermined
Chlaenius variabilipes
Cicindela californica mojavi
Cicindela gabbii
Cicindela haemorrhagica
Cicindela hirticollis
Cicindela hirticollis gravida
Cicindela latesignata
Cicindela latesignata latesignata
Cicindela lemniscata lemniscata
Cicindela oregona
Cicindela praetextata praetextata
Cicindela senilis
Cicindela senilis frosti
Cicindela sommeri
Cicindela sperata
Cicindela tenuisignata
Cicindela tranquebarica
Cicindela tranquebarica vibex
Cicindela trifasciata sigmoidea
Clivina dentipes
Clivina punctulata
Cymindis californicus
Cymindis punctiger
Cymindis undetermined
Dicheirotrichus cognatus
Dicheirotrichus nitens
Dicheirotrichus undetermined
Dicheirus blaisdelli
Dicheirus dilatatus angulatus
Dicheirus dilatatus dilatatus
Dicheirus piceus
Dicheirus strenuus
Diplochaetus desertus
Discoderus amoenus
Dromius piceus
Dyschirius analis
Dyschirius aratus
Dyschirius gibbipennis
Dyschirius patruelis
Dyschirius tridentatus
Dyschirius truncatus
Dyschirius unipunctatus
Dyschirius varidens
Elaphropus anthrax
Elaphropus dolosus
Elaphropus undetermined
Elaphrus californicus
Elaphrus laevigatus
Euphorticus occidentalis
Galerita lecontei lecontei
Harpalus affinis
Harpalus caliginosus
Harpalus martini
Harpalus pensylvanicus
Infernophilus castaneus
Lachnophorus elegantulus
Laemostenus complanatus
Lebia bilineata
Lebia cyanipennis
Lebia guttula
Lebia marginicollis
Lebia perita
Lebia tuckeri
Lebia viridis
Lebia vittata
Loricera foveata
Loricera pilicornis
Megacephala carolina carolina
Metrius contractus
Microlestes lucidus lucidus
Mioptachys flavicauda
Nebria eschscholtzii
Notiobia purpurascens
Notiophilus semiopacus
Notiophilus sierranus
Notiophilus undetermined
Omophron dentatus
Omus californicus
Paratachys edax
Paratachys undetermined
Paratachys vorax
Pericompsus sellatus
Perigona nigriceps
Phrypeus rickseckeri
Platynus agilis
Platynus brunneomarginatus
Plochionus timidus
Poecilus diplophryus
Poecilus laetulus
Poecilus occidentalis
Pogonistes planatus
Polyderis rufotestacea
Pseudaptinus oviceps
Pseudomorpha consanguinea
Pseudomorpha falli
Pseudomorpha parallela
Pseudomorpha undetermined
Pseudomorpha vicina
Psydrus piceus
Pterostichus adstrictus
Pterostichus californicus
Pterostichus castanipes
Pterostichus congestus
Pterostichus falli
Pterostichus gliscans
Pterostichus hornii
Pterostichus inermis
Pterostichus isabellae
Pterostichus jacobinus
Pterostichus laetulus
Pterostichus lama
Pterostichus lustrans
Pterostichus menetriesii
Pterostichus vicinus
Scaphinotus crenatus
Scaphinotus cristatus
Scaphinotus interruptus
Scaphinotus obliquus
Scaphinotus punctatus
Scaphinotus riversi
Scaphinotus striatopunctatus
Scaphinotus subtilis
Scaphinotus undetermined
Scaphinotus ventricosus
Scarites subterraneus
Schizogenius crenulatus crenulatus
Schizogenius depressus
Schizogenius falli
Schizogenius litigiosus
Schizogenius pluripunctatus
Schizogenius seticollis seticollis
Selenophorus palliatus
Stenocrepis elegans
Stenolophus anceps
Stenolophus cincticollis
Stenolophus limbalis
Stenolophus lineola
Stenolophus maculatus
Stenolophus ochropezus
Stenolophus rugicollis
Stenolophus undetermined
Tachys corax
Tachys mordax
Tachys virgo
Tachys vittiger
Tachyta nana inornata
Tanystoma cuyama
Tanystoma maculicolle
Tecnophilus croceicollis croceicollis
Tetragonoderus fasciatus
Tetragonoderus pallidus
Thalassotrechus barbarae
Thalpius horni
Thalpius microcephalus
Trechus pomonae
Zuphium undetermined

Introduction 4

Carabids (as here treated) include all of the terrestrial adephagans other than trachypachids. This is by far the largest family of Adephaga, with over 30,000 described species. Among the more well-known members of the family are the genus Carabus (Carabini), bombardier beetles (Brachinini), and tiger beetles (Cicindelitae).

The vast majority of carabids are predacious. Most of theseare generalist predators, but there are a number of groups thathave become specialized (e.g., Peleciini and Promecognathini on millipedes, Cychrini and Licinini on snails). A few clades have larvae that are ectoparasitoids on other arthropods (e.g., Lebiini, Brachinitae, and Peleciini). Others are seed-eaters (e.g., Harpalini).

Physical description 5

Ground Beetles are rather diverse in shape. Most adults are glossy and black, but some are iridescent, some are green, some are yellow or orange. Their bodies are usually flattened with grooves or rows of punctures running down the wing covers. They are usually a bit longer than wide, have long legs (for a beetle) and run fast. Larvae have large heads and are somewhat hairy.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Characteristics 6

There are very few derived features that delimit carabids. In adults, the metacoxae are narrower than other adephagans, with the metapleuron extending posteriorly to contact the second abdominal sternite. There are also a few minor features in the head structure and musculature of larvae (see Beutel, 1995, for a summary).

Habitat 7

Ground beetles are found in just about any habitat that has other small animals for them to eat. They are most diverse and common in forests, but can be found on high mountains, in deserts, even on the seashore.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: tundra ; taiga ; desert or dune ; chaparral ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest ; mountains

Wetlands: marsh ; swamp

Defensive secretions 8

Typical for the ancient beetle suborderAdephaga to which they belong, they have paired pygidialglands in the lower back of the abdomen. These are well developed in ground beetles, and produce noxious or even caustic secretions used to deter would-be predators. In some, commonly known as bombardier beetles, these secretions are mixed with volatile compounds and ejected by a small combustion, producing a loud popping sound and a cloud of hot and acrid gas which can injure small mammals, such as shrews, and is liable to kill invertebrate predators outright. To humans, getting "bombed" by a bombardier beetle is a decidedly unpleasant experience. This ability has evolved independently twice as it seems – in the flanged bombardier beetles (Paussinae) which are among the most ancient ground beetles, as well as in the typical bombardier beetles (Brachininae) which are part of a more "modern" lineage. The Anthiini, meanwhile, can mechanically squirt their defensive secretions for considerable distances and are able to aim with a startling degree of accuracy; in Afrikaans they are known as oogpisters ("eye-pissers"). In one of the very few known cases of a vertebratemimicking an arthropod, juvenile Heliobolus lugubrislizards are colored similar to the aposematicoogpister beetles, and move in a way that makes them look surprisingly similar to the insects at a casual glance.

Charles Darwin may have found himself on the receiving end of a bombardier beetle's defences on a collecting trip in 1828, but this is based on a misreading of his autobiography;

Ecology 8

Common habitats are under the bark of trees, under logs, or among rocks or sand by the edge of ponds and rivers. Most species are carnivorous and actively hunt for any invertebrate prey they can overpower. Some will run swiftly to catch their prey; tiger beetles (Cicindelinae) can sustain speeds of 8 km/h (5 mph) – in relation to their body length they are among the fastest land animals on Earth. Unlike most Carabidae which are nocturnal, the tiger beetles are active diurnal hunters and often brightly coloured; they have large eyes and hunt by sight. Ground beetles of the species Promecognathus laevissimus are specialised predators of the cyanide millipede Harpaphe haydeniana, countering the hydrogen cyanide which makes these millipedes poisonous to most carnivores.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) urjsa, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  2. (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  3. (c) BJ Stacey, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  4. (c) <a href="">David R. Maddison</a>, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  5. (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  6. (c) <a href="">David R. Maddison</a>, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  7. (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  8. Adapted by BJ Stacey from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),

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