Ground Beetles of Ireland

Sphodrus leucophthalmus

Sphodrus leucophthalmus
Click on map to enlarge it in a new window
(Maps updated 30th November 2009)

Sphodrus leucophthalmus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: A large (20-25mm) long-legged brown ground beetle. Apparently exclusively synanthropic, living in cellars, stables, warehouses etc. Scant old records only.

World Distribution: This species has, or had, a European Southern-temperate range (83), though introduced and dependent upon human activities over much of central and northern Europe. It was a scattered introduction, now in decline, from southern Fennoscandia and the British Isles south to Mediterranean countries and east to the Caucasus. Probably indigenous only in parts of the Mediterranean and in Asia Minor.

Irish Status: Johnson & Halbert (1902) give five Irish localities, all in towns in the eastern half.

Ecology: Strongly synanthropic and recorded in the past from out-buildings or cellars where it apparently preyed on Blaps spp. (Tenebrionidae). Improving standards of hygiene have greatly reduced the opportunities for this species and it is possibly extinct in our area, with no recent records.