Friday, 6 May 2011

Elytra dreams

Time to stop messing about. After spending far too long trying to 'do' insects with a simple generalist field guides and an internet search engine, I've finally bitten the bullet and added a bit of weight to the North Downs and beyond library. Pictured above is the answer to my ground beetle questions - a copy of 'The Carabidae of Britain and Ireland' by Martin Luff (with thanks to Josh for the tip off). I have also acquired the full set of John Walter's and Mark Telfer's visual guides to beetles, available here. Hopefully there will be more to come.

Also arriving on the bookshelf was 'Lichens' by Frank Dobson and 'Wasps of Surrey' by David Baldock. I ordered all of the three books mentioned in this post from Subbuteo Books and all three arrived within 48 hours - excellent service.

Now, where can I find a ground beetle....


  1. Carabids are the business Steve. I used to do them as part of my work when I was an ecology technician. In those days the Royal Ent key was the way to sort them out. My problem with them is a day in the field = a week in the lab for someone of my fairly low level of skill. They are beautiful things though, the Bembidions are especially nice, if somewhat small - look under stones by water. My best beast recently(ish) was probably the Carabus nitens that Mollie found trotting through our North Yorkshire garden, very smart and rather rare.

  2. Nice one Steve, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. As I'm sure you've seen on Mark Telfers website, you may want to contemplate starting a reference collection of carabids, or just stick with the ones that can be readily identified in the field with a hand lens. I've seen almost 30 species of carabid in the last few months, which doesn't seem like much, but they are mostly all from walks around the local area. They're quite addictive, I find it hard to walk past a stone or log embedded into the ground these days...

  3. Alastair - I will take courage from your experiences...

    Josh - it's all your fault!