Flora and fauna
in forest park Háj-Nicovô

Garden ground beetle

Carabus hortensis

Garden ground beetle

It belongs to the grand beetle family (Carabidae), reaching a size of 22-30 mm. Its body surface is shiny with the basic coloring of black-brown to copper and bluish to greenish glow. The elytra are bronze-brown, ribbed with three rows of golden or green pits. It has vestigial wings and does not fly.

It is one of the most common ground beetles in Slovakia, which can be found in forests, gardens, fields, or roadsides but rarely in high mountains. It winters under the bark or in the wood and is active mainly at night when hunting. Adults and larvae are predatory, feeding on earthworms, snails, insects, and their larvae. They also often feed on dead animals (invertebrates and vertebrates) and sometimes soft fruits.

It reacts sensitively to various toxic substances (such as insecticides and herbicides) used in its natural environment. It is also sensitive to changes in pH and, especially, humidity. It plays an important role in relation to man and his activities, being useful not only as a predator of harmful invertebrates, but also as a bio indicator of changes in the natural environment, thus also human environment.

Do you know?
Carabus hortensis defends itself against predators chemically - it sprays them with a foul-smelling secretion from an abdomen gland.

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