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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Carabidae

            Tribe Harpalini

 Harpalus (Euharpalops) spadiceus Dejean

Description and Taxonomy

Length 7.5-11.9mm. This species of Harpalus is represented by two morphs (Noonan 1991). Adults of the spadiceus morph have the legs and antennae rufo-testaceous, and the pronotum has obtuse hind angles with margins not posteriorly sinuate. The adults of the carolinae morph (pictured) have the femora and antennae infuscated to dark brown, the pronotum has prominent hind angles approximately right angled in shape, and the margins of the pronotum are clearly sinuated posteriorly (Noonan 1991). This species is also characterized by the single setigerous puncture on the 3d interval and short hind wings. In the Nearctic Region, the genus comprises more then 50 species. This subgenus includes 11 species, only a few of which are found in GSMNP (Ball and Bousquet 2001).

Life History

The species is brachypterous and mesophilous. The spadiceus morphs occur in lowland hardwoods (350-800m), and carolinae morphs occur in spruce-fir forests and mixed hardwoods from 800m up. Adults of both morphs can be found beneath logs, rocks or in leaf litter at appropriate altitudes.  This is one of the commonest Harpalus species in the Park. Specimens from GSMNP were collected during April- October. So, at least some adults overwinter. In Porters Creek valley the species (carolinae morph) was taken in company with the ground beetle Pterostichus palmi.


The species is widely distributed through eastern North America as far south as Georgia and north to Quebec and Ontario (Bousquet and Larochelle 1993). It is known from many localities in GSMNP (map: black circles - spadiceus morph, white circles - carolinae morph). 

Conservation Concerns

Not under threat.

Habitat of  Harpalus spadiceus

Locality records in GSMNP. Black circles-spadiceus morph; white circles-carolinae morph


Development of these pages was supported by grants from Discover Life in America and the National Science Foundation (DEB-0516311). Habitat photograph, Igor M. Sokolov, Louisiana State University.


Ball, G. E., and Y. Bousquet. 2001.  6. Carabidae  Latreille, 1810. In: American Beetles. Vol.1. CRC Press. 32-132 pp.

Bousquet, Y., and  A. Larochelle. 1993. Catalogue of the Geadephaga  (Col. Trachypachidae, Rhysodidae, Carabidae, incl. Cicindelini) of America north of Mexico. Entomological Society of Canada, Memoir No.167. 395 pp.

Noonan, G.R. 1991. Classification, cladistics, and natural history of native North American Harpalus Latreille (Insecta: Coleoptera: Carabidae: Harpalini), excluding subgenera Glanodes and Pseudoophonus. The Thomas Say Foundation Monographs. Vol.13. Entomological Society of America. Lanham, Maryland. 310pp.

Posted 9 Oct. 2006, I. M. Sokolov, Louisiana State Arthropod Museum.

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