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Taxonomy and morphology


The term Carabus comes from the Greek word Karabos which means cockroach, although this group of predatory beetles is phylogenetically distant from the order Blattodea. Carabidae are under the sub-order Adephaga Clairville, 1806, that differentiates from the other 3 orders of Coleoptera (Archostemata, Myxophaga,e Polyphaga) for having metacoxe melt with  metastern and notopleural sutures of protax are visible.

The family Carabidae (Latreille, 1810) encompasses at least 20.000 described species. According to different researchers (Csiki, Junck e Schenkling, 1927-33) the exact number of species is 18,529, while according to other experts (Thiele, 1977 and Lorenz, 1998) the figure is 40,000. Italian fauna is represented by 1,300 species: 1,218 according to Catalogo Magistretti (1965) e 1,245 + 45 uncertain according to the last Checklist produced by Vigna Taglianti (1993). Italian territory has a higher biodiversity than Europe where 2,800 species live.

In the sub-family Carabinae, the genus Carabus, is represented in Italy by 53 species, 3 of them live in extremely limited areas (Carabus olympiae Sella, 1855; Carabus planatus Chaudoir, 1843; Carabus cychroides Baudi, 1860).

C.olympiae has an oblong body profile, strong head, narrower than the prothoraxequipped with a sickle-shaped mandibles; small eyes, long and thin antennae, square antepronotum with remarkable occiput; reduced wings, not suitable to fly, and strong legs of normal length.

Dimensions: C. olympiae is certainly one of the largest Italian Carabidae: its lenght ranges from 28 to 37 mm.