Submitted to: Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/29/2010
Publication Date: 6/28/2011
Citation: Mccravey, K.W., Lundgren, J.G. 2011. Carabid beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) of the Midwestern United States: a review and synthesis of recent research. Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews. 4:63-94. Interpretive Summary: Carabid beetles are an important group of beneficial insects in cropland, and there has been a substantial recent effort to understand how these insects function in the Midwestern United States. In large part, these beetles are important biological control agents of insect pests in cropland and natural systems, but feeding habits are actually quite diverse and members of this group are also important consumers of weed seeds in agroecosystems as well. Here, we review the recent (past 15 years) literature on carabid biogeography, conservation biology, biological control and pest management, feeding behavior, and their diseases. We also point out some potential areas of future research and questions that remain to be answered.
Technical Abstract: Carabid beetles comprise a diverse and ubiquitous family of insects. Carabids are important in conservation biology and often have close associations with particular habitat types, making them useful biomonitoring organisms. Many carabids are also important biological control agents due to their predatory habits, but feeding habits within the family are quite diverse, and seed-eating or granivorous carabids can play an important role in shaping plant diversity and distributions. These qualities have particular relevance in the highly cultivated and fragmented landscape of the Midwestern U.S., and this region has become a very active one for carabid research in a variety of areas. In this paper, we review the state of carabid research in the Midwestern U.S., focusing on work published since the mid-1990s in carabid biogeography, conservation biology, biological control/pest management, feeding ecology and parasitism/health. Potentially productive directions for future research are discussed.