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Ground Beetle larva
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Ground Beetle - larva
See also: adult

Scientific Name: Carabidae: several species

Status: beneficial predatory insects

Beneficial Stage: immature and adult

Biology: Although there is considerable variation in body shape and coloring, most ground beetles are shiny, black, and have ridged wing covers. They range from very small to large and are somewhat flattened with narrow heads.

Females lay their eggs in the soil. After hatching, the larvae feed and grow for one to two years and pupate in small chambers made of soil. Many species spend the winter in these chambers, and the adults emerge in the spring.

Value: Ground beetles are very common and are often mistaken as pests. In truth, these are active predators on other potential pests that occur in or on the soil. Ground beetles may not be used as biological control agents by themselves, primarily because they are generalist feeders. However, in combination with other biological and cultural controls, they are valuable, naturally occurring beneficial insects.