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Beneficial carabidae beetle

Beneficial Carabidae beetle larvae have been identified for agronomist, Craig Drum (Tatyoon Rural). They were collected from a long-term pasture paddock south of Ararat, in the Western district of Victoria. The paddock is to be sown to canola and Craig reported high numbers of larvae present just below the soil surface. Carabidae beetles are beneficial, eating a wide range of soft-bodied prey such as caterpillars, aphids, wireworms, earwigs and slugs.

Both larvae and adults are predatory and have prominent mouthparts that protrude forward. Adults beetles are generally shiny black in colour, have a characteristic flattened ‘hot-water-bottle’- shaped body and large bulging eyes on the sides of the head. They are flightless nocturnal beetles.

Carabidae larvae have a sclerotised (hardened) head and long-cylindrical shaped body. They are easily confused with true wireworm (Family: Elateridae) and false wireworm (Family: Tenebrionidae) larvae. Carabidae larvae can be distinguished by prominent mouthparts that are directed forward and the presence of well-developed legs. They also have two long processes projecting from the last segment.

There are several species of Carabidae beetles that attack many important pasture and crop pests. Click for images of the greenlined ground beetle, teropha beetle and carabid beetle.

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