Ground Beetles of Ireland

Carabus clatratus

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Carabus clatratus
© Roy Anderson
Carabus clatratus
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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.

World Distribution: Widespread across the north Palaearctic; Eurasian Boreo-temperate; (55) but local and in decline in western Europe (extinct in Switzerland and England).

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). Two specimens were recorded on Star Bog south of Douglas Top, south Antrim by Anne Guichard in April 2015, being the only Co. Antrim records for over a century. However, it is more common in wet pasture and bog in Fermanagh and the west of Ireland generally. Recent work (Williams & Gormally, 2010; Williams et al., 2014) has shown that disturbance due to farming in peatland areas may be beneficial by creating areas of bare peat where insolation and warming of the soil enhances the development of juveniles.

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.