Harpalus rufipes (Deg.) - Strawberry Ground Beetle.

Systematic position.

Class Insecta, order Coleoptera, family Carabidae, genus Harpalus, subgenus Pseudoophonus. The species is closely related to H. griseus Panz. The latter is smaller (9-11 mm), has blunt hind angles of pronotum and finely punctuate medially abdominal sternites.


Harpalus cribripennis Chaud.; H. fuscus (Gmel.); H. nigrosericeus (Gz.); H. pubescens (Muell.); H. pulverulentus (Ross.); H. ruficornis (F.); H. sagowskii (Lutsh.); H. sericeus (Geoffr.).

Biological group.

Pest of grain cereals, leguminous plants, sugar-beet, strawberry, and arboretums.

Morphology and biology.

Body length is 11-16 mm and is black; appendages are reddish-brown. Head is rather short. Pronotum is transverse, cordiform; its lateral margins are emarginated before hind angles; the latter are rectangular, acute at apices. Dorsum densely punctuate, elytra densely covered with short and semi-erect pubescence. Aedeagus in lateral view strongly curved in basal part, then subrectilineal, gradually narrowed towards apex; its lamella long, with small apical disk; parameres small and wide. Body length of mature larva is about 24 mm. Head capsule and pronotum are light brown, the rest of body is light yellow.


The species is widespread in all Europe, Azores, Northern Africa, Anterior and Central Asia eastward to China. It is introduced to North America. In the former USSR, it inhabits all the European part (excluding the northernmost), the Caucasus, southern half of West Siberia and the south of East Siberia, Kazakhstan, Middle Asia.


Polytopic mesophilous species, widespread in anthropogenic territories. Its larva is the polyphagous predator, and adult is the mixophytophage. Adults occur from the end of March - April to the end of September - October. In southern part of the area, one generation develops during 1 year, but 2 years in northern part (adult and larva hibernate here). Oviposition occurs from the beginning of May to July. The species is known as effective entomophage of Colorado potato beetles, Sitona weevils, and cutworms.

Economic significance.

The pest damages in adult stage. It feeds on unripe seeds of wheat and other cereals and on sown seeds in coniferous arboretums. It damages sugar beet, strawberry and some truck crops. Deep autumn plowing with crop rotation is the best measure for control of H. rufipes abundance. It is inexpedient to use pesticide treatments against this important entomophage.

Reference citations:

Bakasova N.F. 1968. Biological features of predatory ground-beetles of the Kustanai Region and their potential significance in the population dynamics of Hadena sordida. Abstract of PhD Thesis. Leningrad. 25 p. (in Russian).
Briggs J.B. 1965. Biology of some ground-beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) injurious to strawberries. Bull. Entomol. Research 56: 79-93.
Kataev B.M., Wrase D.W. & Ito N. 2003. Subtribe Harpalina. In: Lobl I. & Smetana A., eds. Catalogue of Palearctic Coleoptera. V. 1. Stenstrup: Apollo Books. P. 367-397.
Kryzhanovskii O.L. 1965. Family Carabidae . ground-beetles. In: Bei-Bienko G.Ya., ed. Keys to the insects of the European part of the USSR. V. 2.  Moscow & Leningrad: Nauka. P. 29-77. (in Russian).
Kryzhanovskii O.L. 1980. Family Carabidae. In: Kopaneva L.M., ed. Key to the harmful and useful insects and mites of grain plants in the USSR. Leningrad: Kolos. P. 103-109. (in Russian).
Kryzhanovskii O.L. 1983. Suborder Adephaga: Rhysodidae, Trachypachidae; Carabidae (introducton, review of the fauna of the USSR). Fauna of the USSR. 1(2). Leningrad: Nauka. 341 p. (in Russian)
Kryzhanovskii O.L., Belousov I.A., Kabak I.I., Kataev B.M., Makarov K.V., Shilenkov V.G. 1995. A checklist of the ground-beetles of Russia and adjacent lands (Insecta, Coleoptera, Carabidae). Pensoft Series Faunistica N 3. Sofia-Moscow: Pensoft Publishers. 271 p.
Petrusenko A.A. & Petrusenko S.V. 1973. Family Carabidae. Family Carabidae.In: Vasil.ev V.P., ed. Pests of agricultural crops and forest plantations. V.1. Kiev, p. 363-387. (in Russian).
Wrase D.W. 2004. Harpalina. In: Freude H., Harde K.W., Lohse G.A. & Klausnitzer B., eds. Die Kafer Mitteleuropas. Heidelberg-Berlin: Spectrum. P. 344-396.

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Photo © Makarov K.V.

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