Ground Beetles of Ireland

Leistus terminatus

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Leistus terminatus
© Roy Anderson
Leistus terminatus
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(Maps updated 30th November 2009)

Leistus terminatus (Hellwig, 1793)

Description: Small (6-8mm) reddish brown beetle with a black head but darker, brown forms also occur (see plate), at least in Ireland. Under stones, loose bark, in grass tussocks etc, primarily in damp places.

World Distribution: An Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate species (54) widespread in west and central Europe, including the British Isles, to west Siberia.

Irish Status: Common, sometimes abundant, across Ireland.

Ecology: Strongly hygrophilous and usually found in grass or sedge litter and moss of wet alder scrub or other shaded and damp habitats, including montane dwarf shrub heath.

Remarks: Irish specimens are variable in colour with the elytra ranging from pale brown to piceus and the pronotum from clear rufous to dark brown, but always with a moderately contrasting black head. Dark specimens occur in most populations and have been confused with dark forms of L. ferrugineus.