Ground and Tiger beetlesEdit

Arthropods (Arthropoda)---Insects (Insecta)---Beetles (Coleoptera)---Adephaga----Ground beetles (Carabidae)

Ground beetles are a group of generally fast, shiny and dull beetles which can give a nasty bite when handled. Because of their speed Carabid beetles can be very hard to photograph naturally, even when in a pot they move fast enough to blur up a photo in broad daylight, think yourself lucky if one stops moving, they rarely do this. Since Ground beetles are adapted to living underground and in dark places they are unable to fly, their elytra are sealed up, the exception to this rule lies in the area of Carabidae known as Cicindelinae, the Tiger beetles. Tiger beetles used to be in their own family known as Cicindelidae, now they are placed inside Carabidae as a subfamily, there are many characteristics of Tiger beetles which make them unique among Ground beetles. The black, shiny beetles with many grooves along their wing cases are the most frequently encountered of this family, they can be found in gardens sprintng over soil or making sudden appearances when lifting up pots or digging holes in the soil.

Viewing these beetles can also be difficult, when exposed to sunlight they will normally quickly find cover, which means squeezing into holes or burrowing underground. Tiger beetles are slightly easier, but are easily spooked, on the ground they are fast and any too sudden movements will send them gliding over large distances, some species have a metallic lustre on their abdomen which is exposed when they glide, ones that don't are very hard to follow in flight, bringing a net or crawling slowly on the floor works wonders.


1st July, 2008. Ground beetle larva that was moving over a driveway. I tried picking it up, and voila it had the same bite as adults, ouch.

Finding Ground beetlesEdit

2 ways of finding Ground beetles are particulary good if you have patience.

1. Find a hot, sunny area of the garden near soil in spring and summer and just sit and wait, they will come.

2. The Fallen log searching technique


Granulated carabid beetle
Carabus granulatus bronze
A Copper-coloured Carabid beetle
Amara sp. beetle4
Carabus granulatus Amara sp.
A Black-coloured Carabid beetle
Amara sp. black
A Colorful foliage ground beetle
Lebia viridis thumb
Amara sp. Lebia viridis

Ground beetle

Seedcorn beetle
Stenolophus comma1
Ground beetle
Stenolophus comma

Agonum placidum

Fiery hunter
European Ground beetle
Calosoma calidum Carabus nemoralis
Carabus nemoralis
Carabus taedatus

Tiger beetles:

Twelve-spotted Tiger beetle

12-spotted tiger beetle 2
Cicindela duodecimguttata
Common shore Tiger beetle
12-spotted tiger beetle 1
Cicindela repanda