Common Black Ground Beetle

Pterostichus melanarius

Bio Images UK / Malcom Storey

This beetle is just one of many species which get the name "Common Black Ground Beetle." Many of the different species are very similar.

This ground beetle can grow a little over half an inch long. It is nearly all black with some dark reddish-brown coloring on antennae and legs. Many grooves run lengthwise down the beetle's wings.

This beetle was introduced from Europe.

Copyright, The Provincial Museum of Alberta

Black ground beetles live under leaves, old logs, and stones. They can be found in moist woods, fields, and gardens.

They are usually searching for prey, which includes caterpillars, grubs, other species of beetles, fly maggots and pupae, aphids, weevils, earthworms, slugs, snails and other soft-bodied creatures.

Ground beetles will sometimes climb trees, shrubs, or other plants looking for prey. They do not fly.

Predators of ground beetles are the same as those of other beetles, including toads, small snakes, shrews, and birds.

Bio Images UK / Malcom Storey

Common Black Ground Beetles breed in late Summer. The female lays eggs just below the soil surface. Larvae hatch and spend the Winter in the soil.

In early Spring the larvae begin feeding and then turn into pupae (resting stage). They come out as adult beetles in the Summer.

Some adults overwinter as well.

Jarmo Holopaihen

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Ground Beetle's Head Under a Microscope #1
Link to Image
Uglybug.org
Ground Beetle's Head Under a Microscope #2
Link to Image
Uglybug.org
Ground Beetle's Head Under a Microscope #3
Link to Image
Uglybug.org

 

Relationships in Nature:

PREY
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Leopard Slug

American Toad

Virginia Creeper

Soil Mite C

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth

Wood Frog

Bracken Fern

Giant Willow Aphid

Eastern Garter Snake

Poison Ivy

Horned Fungus Beetle

American Robin

Smooth Crabgrass

Patent-leather Beetle

Wild Turkey

English Plantain

Pennsylvania Firefly

Red Fox

Red Clover

Earthworm

Eastern Box Turtle

Common Dandelion

Blue Bottle Fly

Red-winged Blackbird

Cinnamon Fern

North American Millipede

Least Shrew

Black-eyed Susan

Chinese Mantid

Garden Centipede

Running Cedar

Fungus Gnat

Daring Jumping Spider

Bird-foot Violet

Snow Flea

Rabid Wolf Spider

Chicory

Hummingbird Moth

Blue Jay

British Soldiers

Soil Mite

Eastern Worm Snake

Ring-legged Earwig

Brown-headed Cowbird

Chigger

Mourning Dove

Northern Ringneck Snake

Spring Peeper

Striped Skunk

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle

Relationship to Humans:

Common Black Ground Beetles are, for the most part, helpful to people. They eat a lot of pests, such as aphids and slugs. However they sometimes eat helpful animals too, such as earthworms and other beetles. Since these beetles were introduced from Europe, and are not native to the United States, scientists are still studying them to see what kind of impact they have on the environment.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Arthropod
CLASS
Insect
ORDER
Coleoptera
FAMILY
Carabidae
GENUS
Pterostichus
SPECIES
Pterostichus melanarius

QUICK LINKS

Organism Menu
Home
Glossary
Student Activities
Relationships
Classification Info
How to Use This Site
Bibliography