Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Violet

Our walk this morning, took us once again, through Shipley Park, up and around Shipley Hill, then down towards Osborne's Pond, before returning around the northern side of Shipley Lake and the Woodside LNR. While walking along, I spotted a beetle eagerly feeding on the remains of an earth worm and despite the gruesome scene, bent down to take a closer look.  It turned out to be a Violet Ground Beetle (Carabus violaceus).
These beetles are rather large and certainly very colourful as the sun catches their iridescent bodies. Fearsome hunters, they usually spend the daylight hours, skulking under logs and leaves, coming out after dark to feed on their prey of worms, slugs, snails and other insect species.  But this individual was clearly too hungry to let the meal of a worm go to waste.
Violet Ground Beetles are flightless but are fast runners.  Sadly, this one was not fast enough as, when we returned along the same path some time later, I found it again, but this time, it had been squashed under a clumsy foot or bicycle tyre.  It's a tough world out there when you're the size of a beetle.
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