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Violet Ground Beetle

Scientific name: Carabus violaceus
An active predator, the Violet Ground Beetle hunts invertebrates, such as slugs, after dark in gardens and meadows. It can be found resting during the day under logs and stones, and in leaf litter.

Species information


Length: up to 3cm

Conservation status


When to see

March to October


The Violet Ground Beetle is a common beetle found in gardens and meadows, and on farmland. Ground beetles are active, nocturnal predators, chasing and catching smaller invertebrates; they are particularly helpful to gardeners as they prey on many 'pest' species, such as slugs. They can often be found resting during the day under logs and stones and in leaf litter. Adult females lay their eggs in soil and the larvae hatch, becoming active predators themselves.

How to identify

The Violet Ground Beetle is black with a metallic-purple sheen, especially around the flattened edges of its fused wing cases. There are several closely related species of Carabus beetle which are very difficult to tell apart.



Did you know?

There are hundreds of species of ground beetle in the UK, which can be found in almost all habitats. One of the rarest beetles in the UK is the Crucifix Ground Beetle (Panagaeus cruxmajor, a Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework), which was rediscovered in Cambridgeshire in 2008 after a 50-year absence in the area.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.