We illustrate more than 300 species of the Geadephagous Coleoptera that occur in Canada. This represents about one third of the Canadian fauna. We have at least one illustration of all known Canadian genera. The Geadepahaga, or terrestrial Adephagan beetles, comprises three families: Carabidae, Trachypachidae, and Rhysodidae. The Carabidae, or ground beetles, is the largest family by far with about 930 species. We have included the tiger beetles in the Carabidae, which have often been placed in a separate family. The Trachypachidae and the Rhysodidae consist of two species each in Canada. Feeding habits and life cycle types are rather diverse. Larvae of a few species are external parasitoids on pupae of other beetles, but adults and larvae of most species are predatory and feed on a wide variety of insects. We have classified the Canadian species into tribes and genera. Subfamilies are not used here because this level of classification is not as stable.
We provide illustrated regional lists for each province and territory. The Image Library may be useful as an identification guide. Our classification follows Bousquet and Larochel (1993) with the inclusion of recent changes and new records. Species are listed in alphabetical order by tribe, genus, and subgenus.
Check boxes are found beside the species names throughout the Image Library and beside about one third of the species in the provincial lists. By clicking these boxes and then clicking on the bar at the bottom of each page, enlarged images of the selected species will be displayed on a new page. A maximum of 45 species can be selected at one time.
The systematics of the Canadian ground beetles is very stable. Species new to science are occasionally discovered. Most are found after careful observation of the biology, habitat requirements and distribution of well known species which are discovered to be species complexes rather than single species. The discovery of cryptic species within species complexes is exciting but uncommon. New records and introductions are discovered regularly. We illustrate a few of the species which we expect to occur in our fauna but have not yet been found in Canada. Provincial occurrences placed in square brackets in the Index denote these species.
Questions about images could be addressed through e-mail to Henri Goulet, and those about nomenclature and new Canadian or provincial records to Yves Bousquet by clicking on the author's name, above.
References and further reading
Bousquet, Y. and A Larochelle, 1993 Catalogue of the Geadephaga (Coleoptera: Trachypachidae, Rhysodiddae, Carabidae including Cicindelini) of America North of Mexico. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada - No. 167. 397 pp.
Lindroth, C.H., 1961, 1963, 1966, 1968, 1969a, 1969b. The ground-beetles (Carabidae, excl. Cicindelinae) of Canada and Alaska, Part 2. Opusc. Entomol. Suppl. 20,1-200; 24,201-408; 29,409-648; 33, 649-944; 34, 945-1192; 35, I-XLVIII. [In spite of name changes and additional species discovered in the past 35 years, this masterpiece is still the ultimate reference work.]