Calathus fuscipes (Goeze, 1777)

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ADEPHAGA Clairville, 1806

CARABIDAE Latreille, 1802

PLATYNINAE Bonelli, 1810

SPHODRINI Laporte, 1834

Calathus Bonelli, 1810

Calathus Bonelli, 1810

This is a widespread and common species throughout Europe and North Africa to Asia Minor and  Caucasus. It is one of the most common of our U.K. carabids occurring throughout the British Isles including all the islands although in the west and north it is generally a lowland species and in the West Country it is mostly coastal. The adults are active from April until late in the autumn and may be found in a wide range of open and fairly dry habitats. They are common in gardens, parkland and all types of grassland, especially on arable borders, and occasionally in woodland. The adults are nocturnal, do not fly, and run rapidly on pathways and open parkland areas; they generally occur in numbers spread over a wide area and often alongside other common nocturnal carabids. On warm evenings from June to August they are especially active and difficult to miss by torchlight. Pitfall trapping in suitable areas will almost always produce them, and baited traps intended for other species may produce them in large numbers. The species breeds in the autumn and overwinters under bark, logs or among litter etc. generally alone or in pairs. Among the U.K. fauna it is easily identified by the large size, serrate claws and the series of punctures adjoining the third and fifth striae.

A large, 10-14mm, and rather flattened species with a characteristic shape (typical of some Calathus species). The body is entirely black; head and pronotum shiny, elytra dull due to strong microsculpture. Appendages generally pale although the antennae and legs may be variously darkened and sometimes the legs are entirely black. Inner margin of eyes with two setiferous punctures. Pronotum almost quadrate with the lateral margins gently rounded and constricted towards the apex and base; distinctly, even if only slightly, narrower than the elytra at the shoulders. The base has well-developed fovea and is coarsely punctured. The lateral margins are often narrowly red. Elytra long oval with the basal margin strongly sinuate and the humeral angles produced forward. The ninth interval is strongly punctured close to the weakly explanate side margin, epipleurs not crossed. The male has the basal pro-tarsal segments strongly dilated and the elytra less dull when compared to the female.

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