Ground Beetles of Ireland


Adventitious Recently arrived, possibly impermanent

Aedeagus chitinised male sexual organ of Coleoptera, often used in taxonomy for separating closely related species.

Aestivates Undergoes a period of reduced activity during summer heat or drought - analogous to hibernation

Amphipods Freshwater or marine shrimps. Multi-limbed animals belonging to Crustacea: Amphipoda

Anthropochorous distributed as a result of human disturbance or influence.

Anthropogenic arising as a result of human influence or interference.

Arboreal Tree-living

Basalt(ic) outcropping rocks of high heavy metal and zeolite content comprising the coastal hills of Cos. Antrim and Londonderry; drainage waters and derivative soils are of high base status.

Biogeography the scientific study of the geographic distribution of organisms.

Biome a major category of habitat in a particular region of the world, such as the Boreal coniferous forest zone of northern Europe.

Biotope a habitat which is uniform in its main climatic, soil and biotic conditions.

Boreal of the Boreal biome; the coniferous forest zone in northern Europe and/or the coniferous forest zone in mountains within central Europe.

Boreo-British confined to Scandinavia and the British Isles within Europe (Lindroth 1935) i.e. a Boreal pattern of distribution circumscribed within northern and western Europe and excluding the central European mountains.

Brachypterous with shortened, non-functional wings.

Breccia Boulders, glacial rock debris, usually deposited on mountain summits

Calcareous containing base-rich materials or calcium.

Calciphilous with an affinity for calcareous conditions.

Calp soils in Fermanagh derived from Carboniferous strata with very impeded drainage and often low base status.

Carboniferous strata of Carboniferous age, mainly the hard limestones of Fermanagh in our area; derivative soils may be relatively shallow or well-drained and therefore of high base status, or of impeded drainage and of low base status e.g. the calp soils of east Fermanagh.

Cretaceous strata of Cretaceous age, mainly soft chalk in our area.

Diurnal day active.

Dorsum (dorsal adj.) the upper surface of the insect body.

Drumlin a glacial feature; specifically small, oval, asymmetric hills from 100 to 2000m long, formed inside end moraines; drumlin landscapes are especially common in Down.

Ecotope a particular kind of habitat within a region or biome.

Edaphic the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of the soil which affect an ecosystem.

Elytra (elytron sing.) the chitinised (horny) front wings of Coleoptera which encase the hind wings protectively.

Epigeic living on the surface of the soil, or at least not below the surface.

Eurytopic with a catholic (broad) tolerance of ground conditions.

Eutrophic have a high trophic status; usually applied to water bodies or to soil water with high concentrations of dissolved minerals, particularly phosphate.

Fossorial An organism which digs in soil

Fluvioglacial formed by the action of both glaciation and river turbulence; fluvioglacial sands are characteristic of many river margins in the west of the Province and around Lough Neagh.

Glabrous without hairs.

Halobiontic showing an obligate dependence upon salty (littoral) habitats.

Halophilous showing a peak in distibution in salty (littoral) habitats but the association is not obligate.

Helophilous with an affinity for sunny places.

Holarctic with a geographical distribution encompassing the Palaearctic and Nearctic Regions.

Hygrophilous with an affinity for wet places.

Hypogeal, Hypogeic Living below ground e.g. in the soil

Isopods Woodlice, slaters. Multi-limbed animals belonging to Crustacea: Isopoda

Karstic heavily eroded and channelled outcropping limestone rocks.

Littoral belonging to the sea shore.

Macaronesia Atlantic Islands including the Canaries, Madeira and the Azores

Mesotrophic having an intermediate trophic status, usually applied to water bodies or to soil water with moderate concentrations of dissolved minerals.

Mull Less acid humus soils in which litter breaks down rapidly

Nardo-galion Plant community dominated by the grass Nardus stricta and herbs of the genus Galium (bedstraw); typical of certain types of wet heathland

Nearctic with a geographical distribution confined to North America.

Oligophagous (specialised) feeder on a few species of prey organisms.

Oligotrophic having a low trophic status; usually applied to water bodies or to soil water in peaty or hill areas where the underlying rocks are of low base status.

Ombrogenous of a type produced by the action of rain rather than ground water.

Ombrotrophic trophic status largely produced by rainwater rather than groundwater.

Oxyteline with a physical resemblance to rove-beetles (Staphylinidae) in the subfamily Oxytelinae i.e. flattened, narrow and parallel-sided.

Palaearctic with a geographical distribution confined to the northern Eurasian land mass.

Peryphus A subgenus of Bembidion of characteristic appearance (either with four pale spots on elytra or with greenish metallic reflection) species of which are occur frequently in gravelly or sandy places such as on streambanks e.g. B. andreae, bruxellense, decorum, femoratum,monticola, nitidulum, stephensi, tetracolum

Philochthus A subgenus of Bembidion of characteristic appearance (small, with broadly sinuate hind-angles to the pronotum) common in wet water margin habitats e.g. B. aeneum, guttula, lunulatum, mannerheimi.

Piceous a dark brown colour.

Pronotum the dorsal plate of the mid body, or thorax, in Coleoptera.

Psammophilous with an affinity for sandy ground.

Prosternum the main ventral plate of the mid body or thorax in Coleoptera.

Pubescent Covered with hairs or hair-like setae i.e. hairy

Ranker Shallow, stony, immature soils e.g. on rocky hill mounts

Relict indicative of formerly existing conditions; survivor(s) from a previous geological era or from earlier (different) climatic conditions.

Riparian with an affinity for water margin habitats.

Ruderal Disturbed, weedy sites, pertaining to human cultivation or disturbance

Rufinistic/rufinism with a tendency to exhibit lighter, reddish, rather than piceous (darker), colouration.

Scraw Floating vegetation mat developed over lake surfaces in the evolution of lowland mires - quaky bog

Silurian rocks of Silurian age, represented in our area primarily by the slates of Down; the best derivative soils are acid brown earths, widely distributed in the Down area.

Silvicolous with an affinity for shaded (woodland) habitats.

Stridulatory file an uneven area of (usually) the wing cases across which is drawn a stridulatory peg on the abdomen to produce sound (stridulation).

Stenotopic fussy or restricted with regard to preferred ground conditions.

Supralittoral Inhabiting a coastal zone just above high water of spring tides

Synanthropic associated with man or with human dwellings.

Taiga Boreal coniferous forest occurring at the interface between Eurasian steppe and tundra.

Talitrids Sandhoppers, amphipods found on the sea shore

Temperate of mild climatic regime; a zonobiome intermediate between the tropics and the Arctic.

Testaceous a light yellow-red colour.

Thermophilous with an affinity for warm places, specifically sunny and sheltered ground conditions.

Thermoxerophilic Organisms with a need for warm and dry ground conditions

Troglophilous Organisms which inhabit dark, lightless places e.g. caves

Turlough seasonal water bodies found in the karstic limestone areas of the west of Ireland.

Tyrphophilous with an affinity for organic (peat) soils.

Ventrum (ventral adj.) the lower surface of the insect body.

Xerophilous with an affinity for dry ground conditions.