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First Occurrence in Canada of Carabus auratus L. (Coleoptera: Carabidae), an Adventive Ground Beetle of European Origin


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We report the discovery of Carabus auratus in New Brunswick, Canada (new country record) and also review the literature surrounding the introduction, dispersal, and distribution of the species in North America
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First Occurrence in Canada of Carabus auratus L. (Coleoptera:
Carabidae), an Adventive Ground Beetle of European Origin
Author(s): Jake H. Lewis, Reginald P. Webster and Donald F. McAlpine
Source: The Coleopterists Bulletin, 69(2):264-266.
Published By: The Coleopterists Society
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New Brunswick Museum, 277 Douglas Avenue
Saint John, New Brunswick, E2K 1E5 CANADA
Carabus auratus L., 1761 (Coleoptera: Carabidae)
is a large (20-25 mm), brachypterous, metallic green
ground beetle native to western Europe (Turin et al.
2003). The species was introduced for control of
gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar L., and brown-tail
moth, Euproctis chrysorrhoea L., in Massachusetts,
USA from 19081910 (Smith 1959; Clausen 1978)
and has thereafter been recorded in Connecticut,
New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. Despite
its range expansion into much of New England,
C. auratus has not been documented in Canada
(Klimaszewski et al. 2010; Bousquet et al. 2013).
Here we report the discovery of C. auratus in
New Brunswick, Canada, new country record,
and also review the literature surrounding the intro-
duction, dispersal, and distribution of the species in
North America.
On 18 May 2013, J. H. Lewis took photographs
of a metallic green carabid (Fig. 1a) on a residen-
tial lawn (Fig. 1b) at Field Settlement Road
(46.743256°N, 67.773824°W), six km west of
Perth-Andover, Victoria County, New Brunswick
Fig. 1. A) Carabus auratus, 18 May 2014, near Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, Canada, B) Field Settlement
Road, New Brunswick, habitat from which the first Canadian occurrences of C. auratus were recorded in 20132014.
The Coleopterists Bulletin, 69(2): 264266. 2015.
and 1.2 km east of the New Brunswick-Maine
border. The photographed beetle was later identi-
fied as C. auratus, which led to field investiga-
tions on 1618 May 2014 at the same site and
at a similar habitat in nearby Perth-Andover
(46.749766°N, 67.715532°W). Carabus auratus was
collected by hand on the ground surface and by
uncovering rocks between 20:0023:00 hrs. Vouchers
have been deposited in the New Brunswick Museum
Insect Collection, Canadian National Insect Collec-
tion, and the collection of R. P. Webster.
Carabus auratus was abundant at the Field
Settlement Road site and numerous enough that
crushed individuals could be found along nearby
roads and driveways. The beetle is often described
as diurnal (Larochelle and Larivière 2003; Turin
et al. 2003), however, we only encountered active
C. auratus at night, while they were roaming over
driveways and low-cut residential lawns. Indi-
viduals were observed feeding on earthworms and
adult Phyllophaga sp. (Scarabaeidae). Carabus
nemoralis Müller was also collected in association
with C. auratus, as was similarly noted by Nelson
and Reynolds (1987).
Harris (1838) writes of the collection of a C. auratus
individual in Boston, Massachusetts in 1819, which
represents the earliest known record of the beetle
in North America. The presence of C. auratus in
North America is also mentioned by LeConte
(1848), but he does not provide specific locali-
ties or dates and may be referring to the Harris
specimen. Both Harris and LeConte suggested
that C. auratus was accidentally introduced in
earth surrounding the roots of trees. No further
North American records of C. auratus follow until
19081910 when at least 584 individuals were
released in Winchester, Massachusetts for control
of L. dispar and E. chrysorrhoea (Smith 1959;
Clausen 1978). Carabus auratus present in North
America today are believed to be derived from
these intentionally released individuals at Winchester.
However, it is conceivable that C. auratus achieved
establishment in North America in the early 19
tury, with the specieslocal nature (Dearborn and
Donahue 1993) contributing to populations being
overlooked at that time.
According to Smith (1959), the first successful
establishment of C. auratus in North America
was detected in 1920 at Winchester as a result of
releases in 190910. Carabus auratus specimens
were later collected at Arlington from 19241933
(Smith 1959); these specimens are presumably the
descendants of the intentionally introduced indi-
viduals in 19081910 at Winchester, since no docu-
ments exist to confirm that additional C. auratus
were released after 1910 in that state. The appar-
ent stability of C. auratus in Massachusetts sug-
gests that the state served as the source from which
the beetles dispersed into other regions of New
England. The earliest known state records for
C. auratus, excluding Massachusetts, are: Orono,
Maine in 1932; Manchester, New Hampshire in
1938; Plainfield, Vermont in 1950; and Connecticut
in 1972 (Smith 1959; Krinsky and Oliver 2001;
New Hampshire Collection, D. Chandler, personal
communication, 2014).
Nelson and Reynolds (1987) suggested that the
movements of C. auratus into New England was
a combination of natural dispersion and human-
assisted transport in agricultural products and that
its northern distribution is likely constrained by
the presence of large forested areas, the species
being a beetle of pastures, yards, and similar open
areas (Larochelle and Larivière 2003). However,
corridors created by road systems such as the
interstate highways (I-95) with wide-open grassy
margins could serve as a means of dispersal for
this species. Dearborn et al. (2014) show Maine
records for C. auratus restricted to the southern
portion of the state, with the nearest Maine locality
occurring approximately 210 km from the Field
Settlement Road site in New Brunswick. The lack
of continuity between these Maine records and
the first Canadian record supports the hypothesis
that human transportation has been a factor in the
dispersal of the species in North America.
We are grateful to residents of Field Settle-
ment Road for providing accommodation to J. H.
Lewis while collecting C. auratus in Victoria Co.,
New Brunswick. We also thank Dr. Y. Bousquet,
Canadian National Insect Collection, who confirmed
the lack of Canadian records for C. auratus and that
a report for the species in Québec noted on the
checklist of the beetles of Canada and Alaska
website was erroneous. Dr. D. Chandler, University
of New Hampshire Collection, kindly provided data
on records for C. auratus from that state.
Bousquet, Y., P. Bouchard, A. E. Davies, and
D. S. Sikes. 2013. Checklist of Beetles (Coleop-
tera) of Canada and Alaska. Pensoft Publishers,
Sofia, Bulgaria.
Clausen, C. P. 1978. Lymantriidae [pp. 195204]. In:
Introduced Parasites and Predators of Arthropod
Pests and Weeds: AWorld Review (C. P. Clausen,
editor). Agricultural Handbook No. 480, USDA
Agricultural Research Service, Washington, DC.
Dearborn, R. G., and C. P. Donahue. 1993. The Forest
Insect Survey of Maine: Order Coleoptera. Insect
and Disease Division, Technical Report, No. 32,
Maine Forest Service, Augusta, ME.
Dearborn, R. G., R. E. Nelson, C. Donahue, R. T.
Bell, and R. P. Webster. 2014. The ground beetle
(Coleoptera: Carabidae) fauna of Maine, USA. The
Coleopterists Bulletin 68(3): 441599.
Harris, T. W. 1838. Dr. Harriss report [pp. 57104].
In: Reports of the Commissioners on the Zoologi-
cal Survey of the State. Dutton and Wentworth,
Boston, MA.
Klimaszewski, J., D. Langor, C. G. Majka,
P. Bouchard, Y. Bousquet, L. LeSage, A.
Smetana, P. Sylvestre, G. Pelletier, A. Davies,
P. DesRochers, H. Goulet, R. Webster, and J.
Sweeney. 2010. Review of adventive species of
Coleoptera (Insecta) recorded from eastern Canada.
Pensoft Publishers, Sofia, Bulgaria.
Krinsky, W. L., and M. K. Oliver. 2001. Ground
Beetles of Connecticut (Coleoptera: Carabidae,
excluding Cicindelini): An Annotated Checklist.
State Geological and Natural History Survey,
Connecticut Department of Environmental Pro-
tection, Hartford, CT.
Larochelle, A., and M.-C. Larivière. 2003. A Natu-
ral History of the Ground Beetles (Coleoptera:
Carabidae) of America North of Mexico. Pensoft
Publishers, Sofia, Bulgaria.
LeConte, J. L. 1848. On certain Coleoptera, indigenous
to the eastern and western continents. Annals
of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York
4: 159163.
Nelson, R. E., and R. A. Reynolds. 1987. Carabus
auratus L. and Clivina fossor L. (Coleoptera:
Carabidae): New records of two introduced taxa
in the Northwest and Northeast U.S.A. Journal
of the New York Entomological Society 95(1):
Smith, M. E. 1959. Carabus auratus L. and other
carabid beetles introduced as gypsy moth preda-
tors. Proceedings of the Entomological Society
of Washington 61(1): 710.
Turin, H., L. Penev, A. Casale, E. Arndt, Th.
Assmann, K. Makarov, D. Mossakowski,
Gy. Szél, and F. Weber. 2003. Species accounts
[pp. 151284]. In: The Genus Carabus in Europe:
A Synthesis (H. Turin, L. Penev, and A. Casale,
editors). Pensoft Publishers, Sofia, Bulgaria.
(Received 25 September 2014; accepted 30 December 2014.
Publication date 18 June 2015.)
... Synanthropic habitats typically do not receive as much attention from carabid collectors as pristine habitats harboring interesting endemic species, so it is possible that dedicated efforts will discover T. obtusus to be quite common and widespread in eastern North America. Even the relatively massive and gaudily colored Carabus auratus Linnaeus has apparently escaped detection over large portions of its presumed introduced range in New England due to its preference for uncharismatic habitats such as residential lawns (Lewis et al. 2015). ...
Full-text available
The Palearctic species Trechus obtusus Erichson is reported for the first time from eastern North America. Recent collections in Virginia and North Carolina (new state records) indicate the establishment of the species in the Appalachian region. DNA was extracted from six individuals, and the COI barcoding region was sequenced. All but one of the COI barcode haplotypes were identical to those of T. obtusus collected in western North America. No matches were found with available Palearctic sequences. Individuals of T. obtusus were collected from caves and forest leaf litter, both habitats used by native trechine species. Sampled Appalachian populations of T. obtusus appear to be small, with the exception of the population in Mebane Saltpeter Cave (Pulaski County, VA), which is large and included teneral individuals. Currently, there is no evidence that the species is displacing or otherwise negatively affecting native trechines. The species should be monitored carefully going forward, and targeted sampling of synanthropic habitats will be the best method for early detection.
... Later, Webster and DeMerchant (2012a) added another four species. Most recently, Carabus a. auratus Linnaeus was newly recorded for Canada and NB by Lewis et al. (2015). Here, we add three additional species to the faunal list of the province. ...
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This paper treats 134 new records of Coleoptera for the province of New Brunswick, Canada from the following 41 families: Gyrinidae, Carabidae, Dytiscidae, Histeridae, Leiodidae, Scarabaeidae, Scirtidae, Buprestidae, Elmidae, Limnichidae, Heteroceridae, Ptilodactylidae, Eucnemidae, Throscidae, Elateridae, Lampyridae, Cantharidae, Dermestidae, Bostrichidae, Ptinidae, Cleridae, Melyridae, Monotomidae, Cryptophagidae, Silvanidae, Laemophloeidae, Nitidulidae, Endomychidae, Coccinellidae, Corylophidae, Latridiidae, Tetratomidae, Melandryidae, Mordellidae, Tenebrionidae, Mycteridae, Pyrochroidae, Aderidae, Scraptiidae, Megalopodidae, and Chrysomelidae. Among these, the following four species are newly recorded from Canada: Dirrhagofarsus ernae Otto, Muona & McClarin (Eucnemidae), Athous equestris (LeConte) (Elateridae), Ernobius opicus Fall (Ptinidae), and Stelidota coenosa Erichson (Nitidulidae). The Family Limnichidae is newly reported for New Brunswick, and one species is added to the fauna of Nova Scotia. Stephostethus productus Rosenhauer (Latridiidae), Tetratoma (Abstrulia) variegata Casey (Tetratomidae), and Chauliognathus marginatus (Fabricius) (Cantharidae) are removed from the faunal list of New Brunswick, and additional records of Lacconotus punctatus LeConte (Mycteridae) are presented and discussed. Lindgren funnel traps provided specimens for 104 (78%) of the species and were the sole source of specimens for 89 (66%) of the species reported here, suggesting they are a very useful tool for sampling Coleoptera fauna in the forests of New Brunswick.
... Bousquet and Bouchard (2014), in a review of the Paratenetus of North America, described P. exutus Bousquet and Bouchard (Tenebrionidae) from New Brunswick and included many localities from the province. Carabus a. auratus Linnaeus (Carabidae) was newly recorded for Canada from New Brunswick by Lewis et al. (2015), and Buprestis consularis Gory (Buprestidae) was added by Lewis (2015). Dryocoetes krivolutzkajae Mandelshtam (Curculionidae) was reported for the first time for North America by Cognato et al. (2015), in part, from specimens from New Brunswick. ...
Full-text available
The Coleoptera of New Brunswick have generated interest among entomologists for over a century. The first records of Coleoptera from New Brunswick were the adventive Carabus granulatus Linnaeus and Carabus nemoralis Muller collected by W.H. Harrington in Saint John during 1891 (Harrington 1892). The first significant sampling of Coleoptera, and insects in general in New Brunswick, was carried out by members of the Natural History Society of New Brunswick (now the New Brunswick Museum): William McIntosh, Phillip R. McIntosh, A. Gordon Leavitt, and George Morrisey, mostly between 1898 and 1909 (Fairweather and McAlpine 2011). Most of the material was obtained by William McIntosh and A. Gordon Leavitt, who made extensive collections around the Saint John area (Fairweather and McAlpine 2011). By 1914, there were over 24,000 specimens in the Natural History Society of New Brunswick insect holdings, most being Lepidoptera, with about 4,187 specimens of Coleoptera (McIntosh [undated A]). However, only 1,095 of these Coleoptera specimens were still present in the New Brunswick Museum (NBM) holdings in 2010, many apparently were either sent to other people or were lost to insect pests (Fairweather and McAlpine 2011). Among these specimens are the first occurrences of a number of adventive species to the Maritime provinces: Quedius mesomelinus (Marsham) (Staphylinidae) (Majka and Smetana 2007), Attagenus unicolor japonicas Reitter (Dermestidae) (Majka 2007a), Ernobius mollis (Linnaeus) (Ptiliidae) (Majka 2007a), Brachypera zoilus (Scopoli) (Curculionidae) (Majka et al. 2007b), and others, including many that were the first records for New Brunswick and the region.
Full-text available
The beetle fauna of Canada was assessed, including estimates of yet unreported diversity using information from taxonomists and COI sequence clusters in a BOLD (Barcode of Life Datasystems) COI dataset comprising over 77,000 Canadian records. To date, 8302 species of Coleoptera have been recorded in Canada, a 23% increase from the first assessment in 1979. A total of 639 non-native beetle species have become established in Canada, with most species in the Staphylinidae (153 spp.), Curculionidae (107 spp.), Chrysomelidae (56 spp.) and Carabidae (55 spp.). Based on estimates from the taxonomic community and our BOLD dataset, we estimate that slightly more than 1000 beetle species remain to be reported from Canada, either as new records or undescribed species. Renewed enthusiasm toward and financial support for surveys, especially in the central and western provinces of Canada will be critical for detecting, documenting and describing these species. The Barcode of Life database is still far from comprehensive for Canadian Coleoptera but substantial progress has been made and the number of Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) (as candidate species) has reached nearly 70% of the number of species reported from Canada. Comparison of BINs to observed species in a group of Canadian Staphylinidae suggests that BINs may provide a good estimate of species diversity within the beetles. Histeridae is a diverse family in Canada that is notably underrepresented in BOLD. Families such as Mordellidae, Scraptiidae, Latridiidae, Ptiliidae and Scirtidae are poorly known taxonomically in Canada and are represented in our BOLD dataset by many more BINs than recorded species.
Full-text available
All 8237 species-group taxa of Coleoptera known to occur in Canada and Alaska are recorded by province/territory or state, along with their author(s) and year of publication, in a classification framework. Only presence of taxa in each Canadian province or territory and Alaska is noted. Labrador is considered a distinct geographical entity. Adventive and Holarctic species-group taxa are indicated. References to pertinent identification keys are given under the corresponding supraspecific taxa in the data archive.
Full-text available
The first comprehensive account of adventive species of Coleoptera recorded from Atlantic Canada and Quebec is provided. Currently, 510 adventive species in 290 genera and 48 famil ies of beetles are presented. Of these, 419 species are recorded from Quebec, 283 from New Brunswick, 357 from Nova Scotia, 198 from Prince Edward Island, and 195 species from insular Newfoundland and Labrador combined. The most adventive species are in the famil ies Staphyl inidae (120), Curcul ionidae (85), Carabidae (45) and Chrysomel idae (43). The adventive species constitute approximately 14.6% of the total species in 48 beetle famil ies with adventive species in the region. The 48 beetle famil ies are reviewed; their diagnostic features and a l ist of species with distribution data and dates of introduction are provided in tables under each family. A key to the famil ies is also included. Forty-five images of morphological structures and 144 exemplary adventive species are provided, with each family of Coleoptera represented by at least one image.
A survey of the modern carabid fauna of Maine has shown that the fauna consists of 425 documented species, 14 more than previously documented for the Maine fauna in the latest catalog for the family in North America or in the most recent checklist on the state beetle fauna. New state records are Agonum cupreum Dejean, Amara anthobia Villa and Villa, Anisodactylus laetus Dejean, Bembidion intermedium Kirby, Bembidion sejunctum sejunctum Casey, Brachinus vulcanoides Erwin, Diplocheila impressicollis Dejean, Elaphropus dolosus LeConte, Lebia grandis Hentz, Myas coracinus Say, Olisthopus micans LeConte, Panagaeus fasciatus Say, Pentagonica picticornis Bates, and Tachyta parvicornis Notman. The record for B. sejunctum sejunctum is the first for the species in the eastern United States. A recent record for Omophron labiatum (F.) in the state could not be substantiated by any specimen. Notes on biology are presented for species for which that knowledge exists. Distributions are presented for all taxa based on standard biophysical regions for the state and the knowledge of those distributions; distribution maps are presented for all species for which township records are known and for which we have specimen records in our database. Work on better defining the current distributional limits is ongoing. Several adventive European taxa have already exhibited very rapid dispersal across the state.
Increases in international trade combined with the undeniable effects of global warming have led, and continue to lead, to significant changes in species composition on the planet. Comprehensive species checklists represent valuable tools to assess biodiversity patterns and monitor distributional changes over time. Here we report the distribution for all 8238 species-group taxa of Coleoptera known to occur in Canada and Alaska. From west to east, the number of species-group taxa are 1448 (Alaska), 1041 (Yukon Territory), 1115 (Northern Territory), 123 (Nunavut), 3932 (British Columbia), 2863 (Alberta), 2353 (Saskatchewan), 2679 (Manitoba), 4513 (Ontario), 4127 (Quebec), 2704 (New Brunswick), 2286 (Nova Scotia), 899 (Prince Edward Island), 501 (Labrador) and 1099 (Newfoundland). We document the presence of 393 Holarctic and 629 established adventive species-group taxa. The five most diverse families in the region are Staphylinidae (1682 species), Carabidae (989 species), Curculionidae (823 species), Chrysomelidae (598 species) and Elateridae (386 species). The valid scientific name, including author names and year of publication, is given for each species-group taxon. The classification follows current knowledge about the relationships of beetles down to the rank of subfamily. Tribes, subtribes, genera, subgenera and species-group taxa are listed alphabetically. References to pertinent identification keys are given under the corresponding supraspecific taxa. The first edition of the Checklist of beetles of Canada and Alaska was published in 1991. Based on our results, we have added over 800 species to the fauna of the region over the last 20 years, 20% of which are adventive species.
1838. Dr. Harris's report
  • T W Harris
Harris, T. W. 1838. Dr. Harris's report [pp. 57–104]. In: Reports of the Commissioners on the Zoological Survey of the State. Dutton and Wentworth, Boston, MA.
Carabus auratus L. and Clivina fossor L. (Coleoptera: Carabidae): New records of two introduced taxa in the Northwest and Northeast U
  • R E Nelson
  • R A Reynolds
Nelson, R. E., and R. A. Reynolds. 1987. Carabus auratus L. and Clivina fossor L. (Coleoptera: Carabidae): New records of two introduced taxa in the Northwest and Northeast U.S.A. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 95(1): 10-13.
Carabus auratus L. and other carabid beetles introduced as gypsy moth predators
  • M E Smith
Smith, M. E. 1959. Carabus auratus L. and other carabid beetles introduced as gypsy moth predators. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 61(1): 7-10.
Ground Beetles of Connecticut (Coleoptera: Carabidae, excluding Cicindelini): An Annotated Checklist. State Geological and Natural History Survey
  • W L Krinsky
  • M K Oliver
Krinsky, W. L., and M. K. Oliver. 2001. Ground Beetles of Connecticut (Coleoptera: Carabidae, excluding Cicindelini): An Annotated Checklist. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Hartford, CT.