Fachbereich 1 Landwirtschaft, Ökotrophologie und Landschaftsentwicklung

Ground beetles (Carabidae) of Greece


Editors: Erik Arndt, Peer Schnitter (Environmental Agency of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany), Spyros Sfenthourakis (University of Patras, Greece/University of Nicosia, Cyprus), D.W. Wrase (Berlin, Germany)


Ground beetles (incl. tiger beetles) are one of the most diverse insect families in Europe. They occur in apparently all terrestrial habitats and represent a major part of the invertebrate predator guild of the soil fauna, e.g. in forests, maquis and agrocoenoses. Due to their abundance and ubiquitous occurrence, the overall ecological role of carabids in these ecosystems can safely be assumed. Moreover, ground beetles are one of the most frequently used indicator groups for ecological surveillance (e.g. for habitats listed in Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive), biodiversity research and studies on environmental change. Also pest control in agriculture and forests is possible using carabid beetles.

The Greek fauna of ground beetles is very rich because of a great variety of different habitats, a very high number of islands and many mountains. We recorded nearly 1000 species in 138 genera. Greece is an intersection point of several distribution patterns. There are Palaearctic and Palaeotropical faunal elements with the following distribution patterns: Eurasian, European-American, European, Iranian-Turanian, Aegeidean, Palaeomediterranean and Pontomediterranean, and Balkan endemics. A proportion of 23% is endemic in Greece and even more on the Balkan Peninsula. This proportion of endemism is within the range of other invertebrate taxa such as spiders, Chilopods or Orthoptera. However, both species numbers and the level of endemism may considerably increase in the near future, because many taxa (especially in Tapinopterus s.l.) were discovered recently in Greece and has to be described (P.M. Giachino, pers. comm.).

So far, comprehensive determination keys were lacking not only for Greece but for all regions of the Balkan Peninsula. Therefore a team of specialists from eight European countries started to fill this gap.

The volume was published in November 2011. It provides keys to all genera and nearly all species of Greece, a complete checklist of Greek Carabidae as well as information on general morphology, biology, biogeography and 32 pages of colour photographs of typical habitats and species.


Publisher: Pensoft Sofia (Dr. L. Penev)

Authors: (in alphabetical order): A. Andújar (Spain), E. Arndt, O. Bleich (Germany), P. Bulirsch (Czech Republic), A. Casale (Italy), B.V. Gueorguiev (Bulgaria), P.M. Giachino (Italy), M. Hartmann (Germany), F. Hieke (Germany), C. Huber (Switzerland), B. Jäger (Germany), W. Marggi (Switzerland), G. Müller-Motzfeld (Germany), W. Paill (Austria), P. Schnitter (Germany), J. Serrano (Spain), S. Sfenthourakis (Greece/Cyprus), J. Schmidt (Germany), J. Trautner (Germany), D. Vailati (Italy), D.W. Wrase (Germany).