Harpalus latus (Linnaeus, 1758)
This widespread and generally common Palaearctic species occurs throughout Europe except for the extreme south; it extends from Northern Spain to Northern Italy and the Balkan Peninsula and north to the UK and the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia, it also occurs in Iceland and extends east through Russia and Asia Minor to Mongolia and Siberia. It is generally common throughout the UK to the far north of Scotland and is present on all the islands including Orkney and Shetland, and is the most widespread member of the genus in Ireland, being common in the north and west but otherwise more local and scattered. Typical habitats are dry grassland and scrub, upland moors and heaths and open deciduous woodland, it is often common on coastal dunes and slacks although here it seems to prefer sandy areas with patchy grass and plenty of organic detritus, it occurs on all soil types but prefers open, dry and not too warm situations. In Central Europe it has been recorded above the tree line in alpine areas, up to 2200m. Adults are present year-round; they overwinter in the soil or among litter etc. and are rarely recorded at this time, they are active from March until September and peak in abundance during May and June. Reproduction occurs in spring and autumn, adults from spring breeding appear from July and will go on to overwinter while larvae from autumn breeding will overwinter and pupate in the spring. In Northern Europe both larvae and adults have been observed throughout the year with peak numbers of larvae during May. Both adults and larvae are phytophagous, feeding on grass seeds etc. which adults may climb stems to obtain and which larvae gather from the ground and consume in subterranean burrows, Adults are fully winged although some have relatively small wings and flight muscle development varies, they have been recorded in flight during the summer but this seems to be rare. The best way of finding adults is by searching among litter and matted vegetation in open and dry situations, they also occur among trees on dry deciduous woodland margins but avoid densely shaded and damp areas, and in open areas of patchy vegetation may often be seen running in bright sun. Adults usually occur in small numbers and pitfall trapping can be a very effective way of sampling them but it can also be a very good way of killing them along with the many other carabids that usually occur in these situations.
Harpalus latus 1
Harpalus latus 2
Harpalus latus 3
8.5-10 mm. A medium sized, robust carabid that often gives the impression of having a disproportionally large head, glabrous except for scattered extremely fine hairs on the elytral margin, entirely black or dark brown with narrow pale margins to the pronotum, all appendages pale brown. Head with robust and protruding mandibles, convex eyes and long, slightly diverging temples, inner margin of each eye with a single setiferous puncture and antennae densely pubescent from the third segment. Pronotum transverse, broadest in front of the middle but only slightly narrowed to rounded posterior angles, sometimes almost parallel-sided below the middle, anterior angles distinct and apical margin curved, surface smooth except for the basal third which is extensively punctured and finely wrinkled, basal fovea wide and shallow. Elytra smoothly curved from angled and weakly toothed shoulders to a continuous apical margin, striae deeply impressed but unpunctured, interstices convex, the third with a single puncture in the apical third and the seventh lacking pre-apical punctures. Legs long and robust, fore tibiae rather strongly expanded towards the apex and with a deep antennal-cleaning notch, longer terminal spur on all tibiae about as long as the corresponding basal tarsomere. Basal pro- and mesotarsomeres strongly dilated in males. Males are noticeably shinier than females, a character that is readily appreciated in the field.