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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.



e endemica del

Distribution: it is a species endemic of the Italian Biella Alps, an area being part of the Pennine Alps. The 'historic range' is located in Alta Sessera, at an altitude between 1380 and 1420 m above sea level on the northern slopes of the ridge Bocchetto Sessera - Monte Brand - Moncerchio - Rocca dell'Argimonia. Another population was identified by Casale and Rondolini (1978) in an area of beech forest at an altitude considerably lower (800 m). The exact location of this site has never been made public for reasons related to the conservation of the species. 

Life cycle and stages of development of Carabus olympiaeCarabus olympiae has been the subject of very detailed studies about its life cycle, conducted by expert entomologists such as Sturani (1947) and Malausa (1978). We also can not overlook the important experiences of the naturalist Titian Pascutto who raised and documented by photographic point of view the pre-imaginal stages of development.


The actions foreseen by the projects are:

A1 Improvemnt of the population study Carabus olympiae*
A2 Set up of naturalistic monitoring network

C1 Interventions to improve forest habitat for Carabus; sylvicultural  interventions to renaturalize manmade forest (20 hectares) (15 zegna, 5 Rp)
C2 Interventions to improve forest habitat for Carabus; sylvicultural interventions to improve di beech forest (23,6 hectares)
C3 Interventions to improve open habitat for Carabus, interventions to improve and preserve shrubrs (10 hectares)
C4 Interventions to improve grassland habitat (6230*)
C5 Set up of a forest management model to preserve Carabus on 3000 hectares
C6 Realization of shelter to host adults and nursery for Carabus olympiae

D1 Monitoring and evaluation of the impact from concrete actions: analysis of the change coming from forest interventions and their results in terms of naturalization, interazione utilizzazione/Carabus e monitoraggio interventi di ritanuralizzazione, radication, seedling development etc
D2 Follow-up of reintroduced insects
D3 Evaluation of the socio-economic impact on ecosistems of project area

E1 Notice-board (10 cartelli)
E2 conferences-seminars
E3 Equipped paths, ring path in the intervention area
E4 Publication on the project and brochure
E5 Project website
E6 Didactic laboratory
E7 Sensitization and information for students and tourists

F1 project management
F2 Networking with other EU funded projects
F3 Audit
F4 After LIFE

  • the project
  • Programme LIFE+

Carabus olympiae, steno-endemic species of Val Sessera, lives in a very small area within forest habitats. In the last century the species was threatened with extinction by collectors, but thanks to the characteristics of the habitat in which they live, that can provide shelter and food, this insect was able to overcome the phases of the population regression.



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LIFE+ is a financial instrument to support environmental policy of the European Community, adopted for the first time in 1992. The LIFE + program is divided into three major areas of action: Nature and Biodiversity, Environmental policies and government of the territory, Communication and Information.

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21 giugno 2013 - work-shop LIFE CARABUS

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