Carabidae (ground beetles)
The Carabidae RES Handbook enables identification of the adults of the 350 species of carabids (ground beetles) that occur in Britain and Ireland.
The Carabidae are a cosmopolitan family, with an estimated 40,000 species worldwide. Ground beetles show a large range in size, but are fairly uniform in body shape and features. Although most British species are dark in colour, indeed often black, there are exceptions. Some species are brightly metallic copper, green, purple or have a distinct brassy reflection.
British and Irish Carabidae are mostly active, terrestrial beetles. They forage on the ground surface and shelter in litter and under stones and logs. The most important habitat characteristic for many species is soil moisture level. Consequently many are restricted to a limited range of moisture conditions. The surface activity of most ground beetles means that they can readily be collected by pitfall trapping. Some overwinter in moss, grass tussocks and under loose bark, while a few are truly arboreal. Most species are predatory on small invertebrates. There are specialist feeders on molluscs and springtails. Some are more general scavengers, while others are phytophagous.
The volume includes fully illustrated keys to subfamilies, tribes, genera and species. Species notes for each species allow the user to confirm identification. There are also 17 colour plates, featuring photographs of examplar species from within each tribe.
RES Handbook vol 4 part 2