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  • Writer's pictureDan Asaw

Staph and Carabid Larvae

Whilst grubbing around for all manner of invertebrates, any natralist is bound to come across one of these blighters...

Most naturalists should be able to identify them as a beetle larvae but after then it gets a bit tricky.

Most beetle families have very characteristic larvae (although further identification from here is a very specialist matter) but the one pictured above could easilly be from one of 3 families...

  • Staphylinidae

  • Carabidae

  • Dystiscidae

Now Dystiscidae larvae should be pretty easy to rule out as they are aquatic, but splitting Carabids and Staphs has always been very tricky for myself....

Until Mark Telfer posted this on the Beetles of Britain and Ireland Facebook page:

This was a turning point in the road for myself, to split Carabid and staph larvae you apparently only need to count the leg segments.

1 segment after the knee joint= Staphylinidae

2 segments after the knee= Carabidae/Dysticidae

This means if you find a terestrial larvae that looks like this with 2 segments after the knee (like that pictured) its a Carabid!

Ace aye?

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So I figured I would start to collate a list of resources so its all in one place, this is a fluid list and I will add to it as deemed fit! General Beetley Goodness: Moths and Man: A great list of ID


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