Written by Dr. Keith Alesander, Carabidae of Cornwall focuses on the ground beetles found throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Our long-term volunteer Alan Rowland has produced distribution maps to accompany Keith’s notes and combined these to provide a unique and comprehensive overview of species recorded in the region.
Although many species have functional wings, carabids are active primarily on the ground surface (as the common name suggests) and their characteristic long legs allow rapid movement. Species differ widely in shape and length, ranging from 4-30mm, and can display brilliant metallic or iridescent colours. Ground beetles are widespread and you will encounter them in all terrestrial habitats, so if you’re interested in identifying and recording beetles they are the perfect group to begin with. There are approximately 370 species found in the UK; 229 are resident breeding species in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, of which about 63% are Red Data Book, Nationally Scarce or rare in the county.