Driftless Prairies: Native Habitat Restoration

Nature inspires awe!

Carabidae (Ground Beetles)

Carabidae are considered one of the largest families of insects with species found throughout the world. The adult beetles are predaceous and feast on many of our pests, such as gypsy moths and cutworms; the larvae are predatory as well, feeding on soft-bodies larvae and small insects. Ground Beetles are mostly nocturnal and spend their days under logs, rocks, or leaf litter.  Most carabids will run for cover before taking flight and they will also emit some type of odor.

Carabids typically have 1 generation per year. Most females dig out a space in their favored substrate to lay their eggs; others encase their eggs in mud which are then attached to stems or leaves. Overwintering occurs as eggs or adults.

What the Carabid larvae eat isn’t well known. Most species are thought to be carnivorous, feeding on soft-bodies insects, snails, and worms.

Tiger beetles are identified by their large heads and prominent eyes. They derive their name because of their predatory behavior on other insects. These beetles are fast runners and strong fliers; many are brilliantly metallic. Females lay their eggs in sandy soil; the larvae are voracious and hunt by lurking at the mouth of their burrows, snatching prey as it happens by them.