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Zookeys. 2011;(100):517-32. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.100.1543. Epub 2011 May 20.

What do we know about winter active ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) in Central and Northern Europe?

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Department of Invertebrate Zoology & Hydrobiology, University of Łódź, Banacha 12/16, 90-237 Łódź, Poland.


This paper summarizes the current knowledge on winter active Carabidae in Central and Northern Europe. In total 73 winter active species are listed, based on literature and own observations. Ground beetles are among the three most numerous Coleoptera families active during the autumn to spring period. The winter community of Carabidae is composed both of larvae (mainly autumn breeding species) and adults, as well as of epigeic species and those inhabiting tree trunks. Supranivean fauna is characterized by lower species diversity than the subnivean fauna. The activity of ground beetles decreases in late autumn, is lowest during mid-winter and increases in early spring. Carabidae are noted as an important food source in the diet of insectivorous mammals. They are also predators, hunting small winter active invertebrates.


Carabidae; Central Europe; Coleoptera; subnivean fauna; winter activity

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