Violet Ground Beetle

30 Apr

Bunty found this beetle whilst geocaching, and we were both so enamoured by its Cadbury-purple trimming that I picked it up and tried to pose it for a photo. Damn thing wouldn’t keep still. It crawled round and round my hand, up and down my sleeve, and tried to hide in my armpit. Still, we managed in the end, although the colour here isn’t as rich and iridescent as in real life.

According to my field guide, this is the most common type of ground beetle on the British Isles. I’m sure I would remember if I had seen one like this before. How have I managed to go so long without spotting one?

My field guide also says that the violet ground beetle has many subspecies. The two most important are Carabus violaceus, with a stout body and smooth wing cases, and Carabus purpurascens, with a narrow body and furrowed wing cases. They tend to be found in woodland.

This one has a narrow body and smooth wing cases. It was hiding in an ants’ nest under a rock on the Sherrifmuir moorland. Wouldn’t it be fun if it turned out Bunty had uncovered a new subspecies?

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8 Responses to “Violet Ground Beetle”

  1. Northern Light April 30, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    I really love those colors!!

  2. Jigme Datse Rasku April 30, 2011 at 5:06 am #

    I don’t think we have those around here. Similar, but not with those markings.

  3. Brianda Domecq April 30, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    Hmmm, reminds me of “Alexander beetle” the one Christopher Robin put in the match box. Brianda

    • Snailquake April 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

      Haha, yes! Was there a drawing? Somehow I imagine the the match box beetle as looking something like this one.

  4. shaunette April 30, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    That’s why I was saying that it was just a normal beetle. . .and couldn’t see what the fuss was.

    • Snailquake April 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

      You’ve seen these before?

      Heh, mind you, I make a fuss about ladybirds and dung beetles, and I’ve seen loads of those.

  5. Wazeau April 30, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Great looking beetle, but I’m still cringing from the “armpit” part…

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