Insect identification > Coleoptera > True Coleoptera > Ground beetles

Ground beetles

Family Carabidae (ground beetles). - These insects are active, running quickly over the ground, and the group is a large one containing many different species, over twelve hundred of which are found in the United States. They feed mainly at night, hiding by day, and the majority are dark colored or black, though a few have bright colors.

They are predaceous, both as larvae and adults in most cases, though a few have been known to depart from their usual habits and feed on berries and seeds. One species (Calosoma sycophanta L.) has been brought to the U.S. from Europe as it feeds to quite an extent on the caterpillars of the gypsy moth, even climbing trees in search of its prey, and it is now fairly common in most of the New England states.

As a whole, the group is distinctly a beneficial one, feeding on injurious insects both above ground and as these enter the ground to pupate.