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© Roy Anderson
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(Maps updated 30th November 2009)
Carabus clatratus Linnaeus, 1761
Description: A large (22-28mm) metallic bronze, green or black ground beetle with conspicuous metallic bronze or red elytral depressions. Occupies a wide range of habitats in areas of high rainfall but principally in peaty marshes, wet hay meadows and boggy lakeshores. Can feed under water and prefers water-logged soils.
Irish Status: Formerly widespread on certain types of blanket peat in Ireland (Johnson & Halbert, 1902) but now very local and probably in decline in most areas. Presumed extinct in at least Londonderry, Tyrone and Antrim with only a single extant site in Down, at Edenderry Marsh west of Belfast (Day, 1987). Locally common in wet pasture and bog in Fermanagh but elsewhere its status is unknown though it should still be widespread in the west in areas of undisturbed Atlantic bog.
Ecology: According to Koch (1992) a stenotopic tyrphophilous species in central Europe. In Ireland recorded historically from wet places in bogs (Johnson & Halbert, 1902). McFerran et al. (1995) have recently pitfall-trapped considerable numbers in lakeshore pastures and hay meadows in areas of Fermanagh where the very wet Calp Series of soils (but not peat) predominates. It is not, therefore, restricted to peatlands in our area, although very wet ground conditions seem essential. According to Thiele (1977) it is amphibious, feeding in bog pools and shallow lake waters as well as in terrestrial habitats.