Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Entomology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/3/2002
Publication Date: 1/6/2008
Citation: Riddick, E.W. 2008. Ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) feeding ecology. Encyclopedia of Entomology. 2nd Edition, Part 7 pp. 1742-1747.
Interpretive Summary: Ground Beetles or carabids (Family Carabidae) are common inhabitants of many ecosystems. Approximately 40,000 described species are distributed throughout the world. Detailed biological descriptions are available for less than 100 species (mostly western European species). Previous research suggests that carabids play an important role as natural enemies of some insect pests in crop fields. However, the predation potential of most species is unknown. This review should provide college and university students with a lead into the primary literature on carabid ecology and behavior.
Technical Abstract: The article reviews some general and applied aspects of the feeding ecology of carabid beetles. General aspects included feeding preferences, prey searching, prey capture, and digestion. Applied aspects included evidence of impact, such as predation of aphids, leafhoppers, flies, beetles and moths. Carabids appear to impact the populations of some crop pests. Carabids may have their greatest impact when operating in concurrence with other natural enemies. Despite their "common" role as natural enemies, detailed information on carabid feeding ecology is not available for many species. More research is needed to clarify the trophic relations of carabid larvae.