Calosoma inquisitor - 23mm
The other day, while at a birthday party, our pal Koos Dijksterhuis came up to me with his hand folded together and in it a lovely huge Calosoma inquisitor ("Kleine Poppenrover" in Dutch - "kleine" meaning "small" ;o) Depending on your source, this species can supposedly be between 13-22mm or 13,5-20mm, so with a measured 23mm this one was quite extreme.
I don't see these often. In fact, I had just seen my first ones two weeks ago, crossing a street, but I was working so I didn't go after them. This was a chance too good to pass by, so I quickly robbed Koos of his beautiful find and put it in a tube to take home, promising him to send him the pictures I intended to take.
That proofed to be a bit harder than I had hoped. First of all, these beetles are quite restless and quick on their feet, but when it finally sits still for a second or two it is just a "dark blob" that will turn into a blinding bright light when flashed ... so ... meager results :o(
Koos decided to use one my images anyway (the one shown here) for one of the daily columns he writes in our newspaper, "Trouw" explaining that we are seeing this species fairly frequently this year, due to an abundance of the caterpillars that they hunt.
Below is a link to the online version of his article titled "Deze grote kleine poppenrover jaagt op rupsen" :
Here are some other shots of the same beetle:
''Calosoma inquisitor'' is a species of ground beetle. The species is found in northern Africa, Europe and East to Asia Minor, Iran and the Caucasus, with isolated populations in eastern Siberia and Japan.
The imagines are predatory on various insects and their larvae, especially, feed on Lepidoptera larvae. They can fly well and are found not only on the ground, but also in bushes and on trees. In case of danger the beetle can fall and then threaten by lifting up the front body and spreading.. more