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Caterpillar Hunter

Calosoma sp.

A large, predaceous, ground beetle, calosoma, photo © by Mike Plagens

Observed along the upper reaches of the Sta. Cruz River basin, Rio Rico, Sta. Cruz Co., Arizona, USA. August 2010.

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People have opened all-you-can-eat smorgasbords for Calosoma beetles through much of the Northern Hemisphere. What? Outdoor lighting at our homes, retail facilities, recreational facilities and for security pulls in millions of insects many of which flail about on the ground below where they fall easy prey to a wide array of opportunistic predators. Caterpillar hunter beetles are often among the regular patrons.

There are thousands of ground beetle species and the vast majority are much smaller than Calosoma which can exceed 50 mm in length. The immature versions are active grubs that hunt caterpillars and other insect prey among leaf litter and soil crevices.

Carabidae -- Ground Beetle Family

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Invertebrates in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 18 May 2012