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Coleoptera of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Species Pages

Family Carabidae

            Tribe Harpalini

 Trichotichnus  (s.str.) vulpeculus  (Say)

Description and Taxonomy

Length 9-10mm. This medium-sized Trichotichnus species can be separated  from other harpaline species in the Park by its rufous color pattern, the presence of clypeo-ocular lines (prolongation of frontal foveae towards eyes) on the frons, and glabrous, strongly iridescent elytra with only one setigerous dorsal puncture (sometimes lacking) on each elytron . From similar Trichotichnus species it may be distinguished by the form of the pronotum; lateral margins sinuate posteriorly and nearly 90 degree posterior angles (Lindroth 1968). In the Nearctic Region, the genus is represented by 4 species, all of them inhabiting the Smokies (Ball and Bousquet 2001).

Life History

The species is mesophilous and in GSMNP was found in mixed pine-oak forest that had been heavily cut during recent history. Adults were taken beneath rocks or among leaves in litter along a temporary stream bed formed by heavy rain at low altitude (500m).  Specimens from GSMNP were collected during June-September. The species may be taken at lights (Lindroth 1968).


Widely distributed through eastern North America as far south as Florida and Alabama and north to Quebec and Ontario (Bousquet and Larochelle 1993). The species is known only from one locality in GSMNP, but probably is widely distributed in appropriate habitats at low elevations. 

Conservation Concerns

Not under threat.

Habitat of  Trichotichnus vulpeculus.


Locality records in GSMNP.


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.

Lindroth, C.H. 1968. The ground-beetles (Carabidae, excl.Cicindelinae) of  Canada and Alaska. Part 5. Opuscula Entomologica. Supplementum No.33. 649-944pp.

Posted 3 Jan. 2007, I. M. Sokolov, Louisiana State Arthropod Museum.

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