On this page - Calathus melanocephalus - Nebria gyllenhali - Carabus violaceus (violet ground beetle) - Agonum dorsale - Agonum albipes
Above is Calathus melanocephalus. The adult ranges in size form 6 - 9 mm. It is easy to recognise with its characteristic tan pronotum, antennae and legs, with a black head and elytra.
It is found in open country, especially grassland throughout the U. K. and Europe.
Above is Nebria gyllenhali, also known as Nebria rufescens. It is usually found near streams, stony river margins, moorland and coastal areas. The adult is 8.6 - 12.0 mm long.
Above is Carabus violaceus, the violet ground beetle or rain beetle. The name comes from the violet sheen around the edges of the adult elytra and thorax.
This is an abundant species common everywhere in forests, open country, parks and gardens from Europe east to Japan. Adults are flightless and are seen mainly in the summer. They are nocturnal, but when disturbed move quickly and then is easily seen.
Its favourite food is slugs, and it is because slugs come out when it is wet that the beetle's other common name is rain beetle. Usually slugs defend themselves from attack by producing copious quantities of sticky mucous, but Carabus violaceus prevents this by stunning them with a sharp blow to the mantle. Recently it has been found that Carabus violaceus will also eat vine weevil.
In the photograph the scale above is in 0.5 mm, and on the right in 1/32 of an inch. Adults range in size from 20 - 30 mm long.
The larva (above) hibernates over winter before pupating into an adult, although adults can also overwinter. It grows up to 37 mm long, and has a reddish brown head. It is most commonly seen in the autumn, and is mainly nocturnal.
Below is Agonum albipes. In the U. K. most species in the Agonum genus occur near water. It is a fairly common beetle found throughout the U. K. and also in Europe, North Africa and Asia, usually near water.
Below is Agonum dorsale. Unlike others in the Agonum genus this species can be found in drier areas such as open meadows, grassland and gardens. It is a really beautiful beetle with a dark green metallic sheen. Adults range in size from 5.8 - 8.2 mm long.