Ground Beetles of Ireland

Pterostichus madidus

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Pterostichus madidus
© Roy Anderson
Pterostichus madidus
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(Maps updated 30th November 2009)

Pterostichus madidus (Fabricius, 1775)

Description: A large (15-20mm) shiny black ground beetle similar to to P. aethiops but with either black or red legs (form concinnus Sturm). Lives under stones, loose bark and grass tussocks in a variety of open and shaded habitats to peatlands at moderate elevations.

World Distribution: A Suboceanic temperate species (72), restricted to the British Isles, France, Holland, western Germany and (?) Spain.

Irish Status: Widespread and fairly common.

Ecology: A eurytopic and fairly large, black Pterostichus found on lowland pasture, traditional hay meadows, drier woodlands and drier kinds of dwarf shrub heath. On the Continent, it is widely reported from arable soils (Eckel, 1990) and was the most abundant carabid in a pitfall survey of Corsican pine plantations in the sandy Norfolk brecks (Doberski & Lyle, 1997). In Ireland it is also locally common on drier hill land and in conifer plantations.

Remarks: Two colour forms occur, one with reddish femora ("concinnus Sturm"), the other uniformly piceous black.