Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Popular summary: English

Emberson, R. M. 2017. Licinini (Insecta: Coleoptera: Carabidae: Harpalinae). Fauna of New Zealand 75, 80 pages.
( ISSN 1179-7193 (online) ; no. 75. ISBN 978-0-947525-13-2 (print), ISBN 978-0-947525-12-5 (online) ). Published 16 Aug 2017

The Licinini comprise a small group of medium sized (New Zealand species 4.5–13 mm in length), predacious ground beetles or Carabidae. Species of licinines are found almost worldwide, mainly in warm temperate regions, although the fauna is very limited in South America. They are generally believed to be predators of snails, both as adults and larvae, but direct observation of predation is restricted to a relatively few, mainly European, species.

The New Zealand licinine fauna includes 15 species in 4 genera. All species, except one that is also found in Australia, are New Zealand endemics. One of the genera is endemic to New Zealand, the other genera are also found in Australia, or more widely through Australia and island groups of the Western Pacific.

In New Zealand, licinines are most often found in damp, forested sites such as under logs or rocks alongside forest streams. They also occur in other high-humidity habitats, such as in cave entrances and in accumulations of leaf litter. Several species have regularly been found climbing tree trunks at night; other species frequent swampy
areas, but can also be found in flood debris and on lake or sea shores.

Licinini can be distinguished most easily from other similar sized predacious ground beetles by the deep notch in the labrum or upper lip of the oral cavity, which can be seen readily with a hand lens.

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