is one of the major beetle families and members of this group are
commonly known as ground beetles. They are small to large beetles
and can range from 1-60 millimetres in body length. They are recognisable
by their flattened body shape and ridged elytra. They have long
legs for fast movement and prominent mandibles. All carabids are
terrestrial and can be found living under the bark of trees or amid
the foliage, under rocks and fallen logs, in crevices in the ground
and at the edges of streams, ponds and beaches. Many of the ground
dwelling species are flightless.
the larvae and adults of carabids are carnivorous and predatory.
Many larvae lie in burrows or other sheltered areas and wait for
unsuspecting prey while some actively hunt through the soil or vegetation
seeking out the larvae of other insects. Adults often shelter under
objects during the day and emerge at night to hunt insects and other
small invertebrates such as slaters and worms grasping them with
their powerful mandibles.
is known of the ecology of the large carab beetle, Philoscaphus
tuberculatus is known to grow to approximately 30 millimetres
in length and adults are known to favour more arid environments
where they can be found under logs and rocks. This species can often
be caught in pitfall traps. Philoscaphus tuberculatus is
a burrowing species and the larvae are thought to live primarily
underground. This species is found mainly in the Murray-Darling
basin, in open forest or mallee habitats. Adults are nocturnal.
green carab beetle is a large ground beetle which can grow to around
27 millimetres in length. Both the larvae and adults feed on other
insects and under favourable conditions can build up in large numbers.
Adults are nocturnal and often attracted to lights at night. When
disturbed they can produce a nasty smelling odour as a defence against
attack. This species is active during the summer months and can
be found hunting on the ground or on vegetation during the day.
The larvae of this species is thought to dwell predominantly underground.
The green carab beetle occurs over much of Australia and is often
collected in pitfall traps.
australis is a predatory tiger beetle that moves quickly along
the ground hunting down other insects. This species can grow to
around 22 millimetres in length and may occasionally be attracted
to lights at night but during the day they are commonly found under
logs. Megacephala australis produces a strong smelling liquid
when disturbed which helps protect it from predators.
more carabid species visit the Australian
Insect Common Names.