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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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FIRST OCCURRENCE IN CANADA OF CARABUS AURATUS L. (COLEOPTERA:
CARABIDAE), AN ADVENTIVE GROUND BEETLE OF EUROPEAN ORIGIN
JAKE H. LEWIS,REGINALD P. WEBSTER,AND DONALD F. MCALPINE
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 1908–1910 (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
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 2013–2014.
The Coleopterists Bulletin, 69(2): 264–266. 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 16–18 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 20:00–23:00 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
1908–1910 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 species’local 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 1909–10. Carabus auratus specimens
were later collected at Arlington from 1924–1933
(Smith 1959); these specimens are presumably the
descendants of the intentionally introduced indi-
viduals in 1908–1910 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
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,
Clausen, C. P. 1978. Lymantriidae [pp. 195–204]. 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
THE COLEOPTERISTS BULLETIN 69(2), 2015
(Coleoptera: Carabidae) fauna of Maine, USA. The
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Harris, T. W. 1838. Dr. Harris’s report [pp. 57–104].
In: Reports of the Commissioners on the Zoologi-
cal Survey of the State. Dutton and Wentworth,
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-
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LeConte, J. L. 1848. On certain Coleoptera, indigenous
to the eastern and western continents. Annals
of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York
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auratus L. and Clivina fossor L. (Coleoptera:
Carabidae): New records of two introduced taxa
in the Northwest and Northeast U.S.A. Journal
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Smith, M. E. 1959. Carabus auratus L. and other
carabid beetles introduced as gypsy moth preda-
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Assmann, K. Makarov, D. Mossakowski,
Gy. Szél, and F. Weber. 2003. Species accounts
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(Received 25 September 2014; accepted 30 December 2014.
Publication date 18 June 2015.)
THE COLEOPTERISTS BULLETIN 69(2), 2015266