Language: English with bilingual summary in English and Maori
The family Carabidae (ground-beetles, including tiger beetles) is composed of over 34,000 species distributed among 1927 genera worldwide. Carabids occupy most land habitats on nearly all continents.
Most ground-beetles, in temperate climates at least, live at the surface of the ground, while some species dwell in the soil, in caves, or on vegetation. They are mostly active at night and prey on a wide range of small animals such as other insects and spiders; some species are active during the day and feed on plant tissue. Most are recognisable alive by a peculiar way of running on the ground.
Compared with larger or warmer regions of the world, the New Zealand fauna may appear relatively small, but New Zealand is a biodiversity hot-spot with over fifty genera (about 60% of fauna) found nowhere else in the world. As a family, Carabidae are sensitive to their environment and are commonly used as biological indicators. They can also be used to control pest insects (e.g., caterpillars) and in the future, ground-beetles may become more commonly used in biological control. In New Zealand, conservation biologists have listed many, often large-sized carabids, as rare or threatened and worthy of protection.
This new Fauna of New Zealand contribution partly updates Larochelle & Larivière's Catalogue (FNZ 43) of 2001. Aimed at specialists and non-specialists, it should greatly facilitate identification and information gathering. Its purpose is to provide an overview of 134 species and subspecies belonging to the tribes Cicindelini, Pamborini, Amarotypini, Migadopini, Clivinini, Moriomorphini, and Trechini. Habitus colour photos and distribution maps are included for all taxa. Two genera and 16 species are described as new.