The Carabidae is a diverse family of beetles with many species of interest in conservation and biological control. Carabid beetle adult seasonal activity patterns were studied in a west-central Illinois forest/reconstructed tallgrass prairie matrix over a 2-yr period using pitfall traps. We found a threefold or greater difference in carabid abundance between years. Despite lower abundance, a second year of sampling yielded seven previously undetected species. Abundance and species richness were greatest in May–July and lower in August–October. Relative abundance and species richness were consistent among months between years. Shannon diversity and effective number of species were lowest in June and July. Cyclotrachelus sodalis (LeConte) and Chlaenius platyderus Chaudoir were the two most abundant species, comprising 54.3% of total captures. These species were most abundant in July and June, respectively. Most species showed greatest abundance in spring or early summer, and declined thereafter. Collections of several species were suggestive of bimodal seasonal patterns. Carabid species composition differed significantly among months, but not between years. Our results document seasonal variation in carabid abundance and species composition, and show that sampling throughout the growing season, and multiple sampling years, provide substantial benefits for assessments of carabid diversity in this region.
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Vol. 55 • No. 3