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ant-like flower beetles


aquatic beetles (Gyrinidae etc) jewel beetles (Buprestidae) ground beetles (Carabidae) longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae) leaf beetles Chrysomelidae ladybirds (Coccinellidae)
checkered beetles etc. (Cleroidea)

click beetles


blister beetles (Meloidae) flower beetles (Oedemeridae) primitive weevils (Rhynchitidae etc.)
chafers etc. (Scarabaeoidea) darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae)



Diachromus germanus (c) B. Dupont

Ground beetles are one of the most diverse beetle groups, occupying almost all habitat types from caves, to lowland swamps, to deserts and montane snow-fields. They are mainly catholic scavengers or predators of small invertebrates but they also include a significant proportion of species that feed on seeds. This wide range of niches, coupled with a relative ease of sampling, has led them to become an important indicator group for ecosystem health and as such they are generally well-studied in most European countries. The fauna in Greece is particularly rich and Arndt et al. (2011) consider 962 species in their review, whilst noting that several genera then under taxonomic revision would extend this figure. In part that richness is due to the high number of endemic species (219 known in 2011) on the Greek islands, its mountain ranges and in its many extensive cave systems. Thásos contributes one endemic to this list, the montane ground beetle Tapinopterus insulicola. It was identified as new to science (Tschitschérine 1900) from material held in the Natural History Museum, London, and was collected by J.J. Walker on a visit to Thásos sometime between 1870 and 1900. James Walker was a naval engineer who made important collections of wildlife from around the globe during his voyages with the Royal Navy and evidently spent enough time on Thásos to allow him to get up into the mountains (which can't have been easy at the time). I understand that NHM London has a cabinet drawer of his beetles from Thásos and, as these would appear to be the first insect records from the island, it would be of great interest to have these specimens identified. Tapinopterus insulicola was not seen again until Cerutti (1974) located a male specimen on the summit of Ipsarion in May 1973 and Whitehead (1999) found another male near Theologos in October 1994. Like Whitehead's specimen, I have also found a single dead male underneath a rock, at the edge of the limestone pavement on Profitis Ilias in October 2001. As far as I know these four are the only specimens currently known.

As with most other insect groups, we are reliant on the Bulgarian field studies in 1942 and 1943 to provide most of the historic records of carabids on Thásos. Karnozickij (1959) recorded 28 taxa between October 1942 and May 1943, but at least two of these (Asaphidion flavipes and Calathus melanocephalus) have since been taxonomically split and it is impossible now to know which species Karnozickij collected. A. festivum and C. cinctus have been recorded recently on Thásos and they may be the species that Karnozickij found, but there are another seventeen species recorded by Karnozickij that have not been seen since, some of which may no longer be reliable identifications. These species are indicated by a 'K' in the Checklist below.

Stojanov & Kitanov (1950) add a record of Morion (Neomorion) olympicus (presumably from the same source), making a total of 28 species known prior to the current studies. Pitfall-trapping is the most productive way to gain an overview of the carabid fauna of a particular locality but this technique has not been employed on the island and my own collecting has generally been casual in nature, picking up specimens that have been swept when searching for weevils or taken under stones when looking for ants. Nonetheless, this has added a further thirty-six species to the island list (asterisked in the Checklist below) and D.C. Boyce collected a single Calosoma sycophanta in May 1997, bringing the total to 65 carabid species known from Thásos. Baehr (1985) and Forcke & Assing (2016) report a total of 48 species from the southern Aegean island of Karpathos, which is a similar size to Thásos but more remote.

It is interesting that two of the species Karnozickij recorded which have not been refound on the island are the psammophilous ground beetles Scarites laevigatus and S. terricola. Both occur on the mainland opposite on the dunes east of Keramoti, where the tiger beetle Calomera littoralis is also abundant, and all three could be expected on the beach and dunes at Skala Potamias but the increase in tourist pressure may have caused their extinction.

The identification of ground beetles in Greece is admirably served by the publication of the recent book on the 'Carabidae of Greece' (Arndt et al. 2011), Although, as mentioned above, there are a few genera that are not covered due to ongoing revisions, this is an invaluable work that is indispensable to anyone attempting studies on the Greek fauna. Giachino & Vailati (2011) provide a review and keys to the curious subterranean species in the Anillina subtribe. I am grateful to Paul Whitehead for help with some identifications.




Acupalpus (Acupalpus) maculatus (Schaum, 1860)
Agonum antennarium
(Duftschmid, 1812)  *
Agonum marginatum
(Linnaeus, 1758)  *
Amblystomus niger
(Heer, 1841)  *
Asaphidion festivum
(Jacquelin du Val, 1851)  *
Bembidion (Bembidion) quadrimaculatum
(Linnaeus, 1761)  K
Bembidion (Nepha) illigeri
Netolitzky, 1914  K
Bembidion (Notaphus) varium
(Olivier, 1795)  *
Bembidion (Ocydromus) decorum
(Panzer, 1799)  K
Bembidion (Ocydromus) genei
Kuster, 1847  *
Bembidion (Ocydromus) siculum
Dejean, 1831  *
Bembidion (Peryphanes) dalmatinum
Dejean, 1831  *
Bembidion (Philochthus) lunulatum
Geoffroy, 1785  K
Bembidion (Sinechostictus) elongatum
(Dejean, 1831)  K
Bradycellus distinctus
(Dejean, 1829)  *
Calathus cinctus
Motschulsky, 1850  *
Calathus fuscipes
(Goeze, 1777)
Calosoma sycophanta
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Carabus (Pachystus) graecus
Dejean, 1826  *
Carabus (Procrustes) coriaceus
Linnaeus, 1758
Chlaenius festivus
(Panzer, 1796)  K
Chlaenius vestitus
(Paykull, 1790)
Cicindela campestris
Linnaeus, 1758
Cymindis axillaris
(Fabricius, 1794)  *
Cymindis lineata
(Quensel 1806)  *
Demetrias atricapillus
(Linnaeus, 1758)  *
Diachromus germanus
(Linnaeus, 1758)  *
Dixus obscurus
(Dejean, 1825)  *
Drypta dentata
Dyschirius aeneus
(Dejean, 1825)  *
Harpalus ?taciturnus
Dejean, 1829  *
Harpalus distinguendus
(Duftschmid, 1812)
Harpalus griseus
(Panzer, 1796)  *
Harpalus rubripes
(Duftschmid, 1812)  *
Harpalus serripes
(Quensel, 1806)  *
Harpalus sulphuripes
Germar, 1824  *
Lebia humeralis
Dejean, 1825  *
Lebia scapularis
(Geoffroy in Fourcroy, 1785)  K
Leistus spinibarbis
(Fabricius, 1775)  K
Lionychus quadrillum
(Duftschmid, 1812)  *
Microlestes fissuralis
(Reitter, 1901)  *
Microlestes minutulus
(Goeze, 1777)  K
Morion (Neomorion) olympicus
L. Redtenbacher, 1843
Notiophilus rufipes
Curtis, 1829  K
Notiophilus substriatus
Waterhouse, 1833  K
Omophron limbatum
(Fabricius, 1777)
Ophonus cribricollis
(Dejean, 1829)  *
Ophonus puncticollis
(Paykull, 1798)  *
Paradromius linearis
(Olivier, 1795)  *
Scarites laevigatus
Fabricius, 1792  K
Scarites terricola
Bonelli, 1813  K
Stenolophus teutonus
(Schrank, 1781)  *
Syntomus obscuroguttatus
(Duftschmid, 1812)  *
Syntomus pallipes
(Dejean, 1825)  *
Tachys (Paratachys) bistriatus
(Duftschmid, 1812)  *
Tachys (Paratachys) fulvicollis
( Dejean, 1831)  K
Tachys (Paratachys) micros
(Fischer von Waldheim, 1828)  K
Tachys sexstriatus
(Duftschmid, 1812)  *
Tachyta nana
(Gyllenhal, 1810)  K
Tachyura diabrachys
(Kolenati, 1845)  K
Tachyura thoracica
(Kolenati, 1845)  K
Tapinopterus insulicola
(Tschitscherine, 1900)
Trechus (Trechus) austriacus
Dejean, 1831  K
Trechus (Trechus) nigrinus
Putzeys, 1847  K
Zabrus incrassatus
(Ahrens, 1814)






Arndt, E., Aydin, N. & Aydin, G. 2005. Tourism impairs tiger beetle (Cicindelidae) populations - a case study in a Mediterranean beach habitat. Journal of Insect Conservation, 9: 201-206.
Arndt, E., Schnitter, P., Sfenthourakis, S. & Wrasse, D.W., Eds. 2011. Ground beetles (Carabidae) of Greece. Pensoft, Sofia.

Baehr, M. 1985. Die Laufkäfer des Karpathos-Archipels in der Südostägäis (Coleoptera, Carabidae). Nachrichtenblatt der Bayerischen Entomologen, 34: 90-97.

Cerutti, M. 1974. Descrizione del maschio de Tapinopterus insulicola (Tschitschérine) (Coleoptera, Pterostichidae). Fragmenta Entomologica, 10: 223-229.

Forke, T. & Assing, V. 2016. On the Carabidae of the Greek island Karpathos ( Insecta: Coleoptera). Linzer Biologische Beiträge, 48: 265–268.

Giachino, P.M. & Vailati, D. 2011. Review of the Anillina of Greece (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Bembidiini). Biodiversity Journal, Monograph 1: 1-112.

Karnozickij, N. 1959. Materialien zur Koleopteren-Fauna der Agäischen Küste und Insel Thasos. Izv. zool. Inst. Sof., 8: 237-253.

Stojanov, N. & Kitanov, B. 1950. Rastitelnit. otnošenija na ostrov Tasos. Izv. Bot. Inst. (Sofia), 1: 214-357.

Tschitschérine, T. 1900. Description de deux nouvelles espčces du genre Platysma (Bon.). Abeille, Paris, 30: 47-52.

Whitehead, P.F. 1999. A second male of Tapinopterus insulicola (Tscitschérine, 1900) (Coleoptera: Carabidae). Entomologist's Gazette, 50: 53-54.