Colors of Carabus

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A special feature is the metallic color that distinguishes the dorsal C.olympiae. The head is black, almost purple in the occipital area; the disk of pronotum is violet to red-gold with a wide side strip in golden-green to purple or violet; elytra vary from golden-green to red-purple or golden-purple, with a narrow lateral reddish strip; pleural and sternal parts are black, legs and antennae are black or brown. Individual variations concerning the coloring are extremely huge in this species so that some entomologists (Heyden, 1881; Stierlin, 1881; Lapouge, 1902) have identified the specific variety or aberration.

According to Casale et al. (1982) it is possible to distinguish varieties with purple head and pronotum and red-purple or gold borders (stierlini Heyden variety) varieties with violet margins of pronotum and green ligthly golden elytra (sellaeStierlin variety ); varieties completely purple with different gradations (fucatus Lapouge aberration). Are also present, but with very low frequency, very dark almost black varieties(melanistic). It is not yet known whether these color variations are determined by genetic and/or environmental factors. Field observations would indicate that varieties caught in open environments, such as shrubs, have a more vibrant color (red, green, yellow) and more heterogeneous than those found in the shadowes environment of beech wood. This suggests that the differential staining could be the result of different microenvironmental conditions (temperature, humidity, prey availability, etc..) peculiar for each specific habitat.