Belongs to: beetles

Violet ground beetle Carabus violaceus

Best time to see: Mar to end Oct

Key facts

Ground beetles are fast-moving beetles that hunt their prey – mainly plant-eating insects – at night

Britain has 350+ species – different sorts found in every sort of habitat from dry sand dunes to bogs

The violet ground beetle shown here is found in fields and gardens throughout Britain


Large flightless beetle with long legs and a violet sheen; length almost 3 cm

Hunts at night, using powerful jaws to crush its prey; hides under stones or leaf litter during the day

Useful to farmers and gardeners as it eats many plant-eating insects


Eggs laid on a wide range of plants in spring

Larvae are carnivorous like their parents, hiding in leaf litter for up to 10 months before large enough to pupate

Adults emerge in autumn but do not become active until spring

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