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Text © K. Reißmann, T. Hörren, M. Stern, F. Bötzl and C. Benisch

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Calosoma sycophanta (L., 1758)
Calosoma sycophanta
With a size of 20 to 30 mm the forest caterpillar hunter Calosoma sycophanta is among the largest ground beetles (family Carabidae) of our fauna and is also one of the most colorful. Its distribution ranges from North Africa over Europe, Asia Minor and Central Asia to the Tian Shan Mountains. It has been introduced to North America as biological control agent. Both beetles and larvae are voracious hunters of caterpillars of the Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar), occasionally of Black Arches (L. monacha) and other Lymantriidae, and of Thaumetopoea (Processionary Moths). In case of outbreaks, the beetles fly from considerable distances to the site of the calamity. They reach up to three years in age in the wild and up to 5 years in captivity. In Germany, C. sycophanta mainly occurs in the south and is very scattered. It is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (KR)

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