The fascinating world of the carabids

The carabids are one of the richest families of beetles in the world. Almost 33 000 species have been recorded, and they have different patterns of colors and shapes. Carabids are nocturnal predators of small arthropods and insect eggs, and play different roles in the ecosystem as biological controllers, depredators, etc.

The knowledge of their diversity, taxonomy, and distribution is scarce. Therefore, we have collected and identified the species of this group in the project: Effects of the type of land use on the Manu province biological diversity, Madre de Dios, that aims to recognize the variation in the diversity of insects in different gradients of environmental disturbances.

For this purpose we have used Malaise traps, yellow pan trays, and pitfall traps set at key points in the Manu Biosphere Reserve to collect different groups of insects.  The collection of samples started in May 2022 and finished in December. The species were identified in the entomological collection at the Crees Foundation.

In total, we have collected 382 specimens of 27 species. The most abundant species was Odontocheila rufiscapis, defined by its metallic greenish color combined with two white dots on each side of its elytra and its body shape. They are called “tiger beetles” because of their aggressive behavior and speed of their movement. Their larvae have a characteristic shape and behavior, they dig up the ground to capture their prey. Another impressive species that was captured was Distichus angustiformis, which is defined by having very large jaws to catch its prey and an entirely black body.

BSc. Javier Amaru Castelo, BSc. Lilia Halanocca Yana