Woodland Ground Beetles From Bete Gris

2015 September 16

Another thing we saw on our trip to Bete Gris on July 12, 2015, was a number of these beetles rummaging around the sand on the beach, right near the water line. They were jet-black, and actually looked like they were having a hard go of it due to the sand rolling around underfoot, and occasionally being hit by waves. Here’s one in my hand, so you can see that they are only medium-sized beetles.

They had grooves down the back of their wing covers, and were a typical beetle shape.

At first, I thought they were darkling beetles, which are common black beetles with grooved wing covers.

But then, I saw the mandibles, which are nothing like darkling beetle mandibles, and in fact look better suited for a predator.

So, I think these are actually Woodland Ground Beetles, in the tribe Pterostichini. These are medium to large predatory beetles, mostly black, with about 250 very similar species that are found worldwide. I expect that even though they weren’t really very well adapted to the general water margin environment, they were drawn there because of all the delicious little things that get washed up on the beach by the waves.

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