Misty shares, “I think the beetle was already showcased in a recent post, but it was in the middle of catching prey which was cool – it’s kind of hard to see, but there is a small caterpillar or something wriggling in its mandibles.”

These European transplants, introduced roughly 150 years ago, are now widespread in their North American range. Flightless and nocturnal, they prowl gardens, yards and open, wooded areas for soft-bodied invertebrates. Have a slug problem? These guys might be able to help you out! They are easily observed on pathways and bare patches of soil by flashlight and porchlight from April until fall …and occasionally during the day to get their picture taken. The metallic-purple rim that borders their elytra and thorax is certainly photo-worthy! 

Size: Up to an inch long 

Photo by: Misty Nelson on 5/21/22 near Frenchtown, MT