Ground Beetles of Ireland

Calathus cinctus

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Calathus cinctus
© Roy Anderson
Calathus cinctus
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(Maps updated 30th November 2009)

Calathus cinctus Motschulsky, 1850

Description: A 6-8mm long ground black and red ground beetle, outwardly identical to Calathus melanocephalus but more closely related to C. mollis. Only recognised as a British and Irish species in 1989. It is associated with sandy areas, especially coastal dunes. Widespread.

World Distribution: Probably widespread in Europe except the extreme north but only recently recognised as a good species separate from C. mollis (Aukema, 1990). We classify it provisionally as European Wide-temperate (63).

Irish Status: Brought forward as a British insect by Anderson & Luff (1994), who give records for the southern half of Britain and coastal sites in southern counties of Ireland. Subsequently found on the Isle of Man (Luff, 1996) and on dunes on the north coast of Londonderry and Antrim (Anderson, 1999).

Ecology: In Europe, this species is mostly reported from dry heaths and bare sandy places inland, being replaced on the coast by Calathus mollis. In Ireland, the habitat distinction between the two is less clear and both occur in coastal fore dunes. C. cinctus is relatively scarce in this habitat, however, becoming more dominant in sparsely vegetated yellow dunes.