Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

FNZ 69 - Carabidae (Insecta: Coleoptera): synopsis of species - Methods and conventions

Larochelle, A; Larivière, M-C 2013. Carabidae (Insecta: Coleoptera): synopsis of species, Cicindelinae to Trechinae (in part). Fauna of New Zealand 69, 193 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ISSN 1179-7193 (online) ; no. 69. ISBN 978-0-478-34738-8 (print), ISBN 978-0-478-34739-5 (online) ). Published 7 Mar 2013

Methods and Conventions


This synopsis is based on our 20 years of laboratory research and extensive fieldwork carried out in over 1000 localities, an extensive survey of the world literature up to now, and identification of carabids and recording of information associated with adult specimens from the following entomological museums and collections:

AMNZ Auckland Institute and Museum, Auckland, New Zealand.
ANIC Australian National Insect Collection, Canberra, Australia.
BBNZ B. I. P. Barratt private collection, Dunedin, New Zealand.
BMNH The Natural History Museum, London, U.K.
CMNH Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
CMNZ Canterbury Museum, Christchurch, New Zealand.
DBPC D. Brzoska private collection, Naples, Florida, U.S.A.
FMNH Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
JNNZ J. Nunn private collection, Dunedin, New Zealand.
LUNZ Entomology Research Museum, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand.
MNHN Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France.
MONZ Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand.
NMV Museum of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
NZAC New Zealand Arthropod Collection, Landcare Research, Auckland, New Zealand.
PHNZ P. Howe private collection, Timaru, New Zealand.

Collecting and preparation

Detailed accounts on the collecting and preparation of adult ground-beetles can be found in Larochelle & Larivière (2001, 2005, 2007a).

Taxonomically relevant characters

The characters presented in the keys and descriptions are subsets of the totality of adult characters studied, and represent the most important or easily seen differences between, or variation amongst, closely related taxa.

Body length was measured from apex of mandibles to apex of elytra (with the specimen in dorsal view), and is cited as a range.

Characters with the highest diagnostic value at the species level have been photographed or illustrated, including the most diagnostic aspects of the male genitalia. Most illustrations provided in this work represent the most commonly encountered state of a character. The user must allow some degree of variation when working with individual specimens.

The male genitalia offer the most stable characters and the ultimate criteria for species recognition. The second best diagnostic character for the majority of taxa is the configuration of the pronotum.

Although it is necessary to dissect male genitalia within the context of taxonomic revisions, it is often sufficient to pull out the apex of the aedeagus with a pin when mounting specimens to expose enough of the genitalia for identification.

Identification keys

Keys are somewhat artificial. They are intended as an aid to identification, not a statement of the authors’ opinion on phylogenetic relations. Additional supporting characters (e.g., body length, distribution) have sometimes been included between key couplets to help identification.

Illustrations and digital photographs

Illustrations and maps were prepared using the software package CorelDRAW® graphics suite. All figures were laid out using this software package. Photographs were captured using Leica stereomicroscopes (MZ12.5 and M205A), digital cameras (LeicaDC500 and Nikon DS-Ri1), and the image stacking software Helicon Focus. Photos of larger ground-beetle species were taken using a Canon EOS 40D digital SLR camera with a 50 mm macro lens and life-size converter, and were montaged using the software Zerene Stacker. Further photo-processing was done with the software packages Adobe® Photoshop® and CorelDRAW® graphics suite.

An attempt was made to include habitus photos of all species and subspecies but specimens suitable for photography could not be secured for the following taxa: Migadopini – Loxomerus huttoni (Broun, 1902) and Taenarthrus pluriciliatus Johns, 2010; Trechini – Maoritrechus stewartensis Townsend, 2010 and Duvaliomimus walkeri brittoni Jeannel, 1938.

Taxonomic concepts

The authors’ approach regarding genus and species concepts has been thoroughly discussed in Larochelle & Larivière (2005, 2007a).

In the current work a number of subspecies of tiger beetles (tribe Cicindelini) are recognised. The subspecies concept used generally agrees with Mayr & Ashlock’s (1991) definition: “A subspecies is an aggregate of phenotypically similar populations of a species inhabiting a geographic subdivision of the range of that species and differing taxonomically from other populations of that species.”

More specifically, in cases where the male genitalia are identical the subspecies criteria defined by Pearson et al. (2006) are followed as closely as possible: “subspecies share: (1) a unique geographic range or habitat; (2) several distinct sets of [morphological] characters, all of which vary together across the range; (3) a unique natural history relative to other subdivisions of the species.”

Taxonomic arrangement

In this Synopsis subfamilies and tribes are arranged phylogenetically following the higher classification shown in Table 1. Subtribes and genus-group taxa are treated alphabetically within tribes. Species-group taxa are ordered according to identification keys.

Synonymies and type data

Synonyms, new combinations, and type data are omitted unless taxa are fully revised, or if taxonomic changes have occurred since the publication of Larochelle & Larivière (2001, 2007a).

When the primary types of native species were examined, information is listed in the following format: type status (holotype, lectotype, etc.) followed by sex, acronym of entomological collection or museum serving as repository, and original label data with a forward slash (/) indicating a different label.


This is indicated for all genera and species (A=Adventive; E=Endemic; N=Native, but not endemic). The biostatus categories used are defined in the Glossary (Appendix A, p. 89). A combination of criteria was used to assess whether taxa were adventive including: recency of first New Zealand record in the literature and collections; fit of current geographical and ecological distribution with recognised natural patterns, or similarity of such distribution with that of other adventive arthropods; and dispersal ability, especially in relation to flightlessness and distance from the nearest overseas populations.

Geographic distribution and ecology

The two-letter area code abbreviations of Crosby et al. (1976, 1998) are used when New Zealand distribution records are provided (see Maps 1–3):

New Zealand. North Island: AK, Auckland; BP, Bay of Plenty; CL, Coromandel; GB, Gisborne; HB, Hawke’s Bay; ND, Northland; RI, Rangitikei; TK, Taranaki; TO, Taupo; WA, Wairarapa; WI, Wanganui; WN, Wellington; WO, Waikato. South Island: BR, Buller; CO, Central Otago; DN, Dunedin; FD, Fiordland; KA, Kaikoura; MC, Mid Canterbury; MK, Mackenzie; NC, North Canterbury; NN, Nelson; OL, Otago Lakes; SC, South Canterbury; SD, Marlborough Sounds; SL, Southland; WD, Westland. Stewart Island, SI. Offshore Islands: AN, Antipodes Islands; AU, Auckland Islands; BO, Bounty Islands; CA, Campbell Island; CH, Chatham Islands; KE, Kermadec Islands; SN, Snares Islands; TH, Three Kings Islands.

Maps summarising species distributions are provided on p. 170–184.

Ecological information, when provided, is based on specimen label data, field and laboratory observations by the authors, and from the literature. The terminology and style of presentation adopted here follow closely Larochelle & Larivière (2001, 2005, 2007a). Many technical terms are also defined in the Glossary (Appendix A, p. 89).

Detailed species-level accounts of geographic distribution, ecology, biology, and dispersal power already published in Larochelle & Larivière (2001), are not repeated unless groups are revised here. In such cases, the original accounts are supplemented and updated. For groups not revised in the present work, only directly useful information is provided and readers are referred to the 2001 catalogue for more details.


Under References, except in the case of full revisions, only the most important references published since 2007 or not included in Larochelle & Larivière (2001, 2007a), are provided.

Purchase this publication