With collaboration at Colby College,
the University of Vermont,
and the Oregon Department of Agriculture

Ross T. Bell
Dept. of Zoology
University of Vermont
Burlington, Vermont
Richard Dearborn
Forest Entomology Laboratory
Maine Dept. of Conservation
Augusta, Maine
James R. LaBonte
Oregon Dept. of Agriculture
Salem, Oregon
Robert E. Nelson
Dept. of Geology
Colby College
Waterville, Maine

The Maine Carabid Survey is a specimen-based survey of the ground beetle fauna (Class Insecta, Order Coleoptera, Family Carabidae) of the state of Maine, launched by the Maine Forest Service and academic collaborators in 1995 and continuing through the present time. All data from the Survey are being compiled into the Forest Service integrative database by Ms. Charlene Donahue.
The faunal assessment has two major goals: (1) a thorough knowledge of the faunal inventory of the state, preserved in an electronic format that can be interfaced with other environmental and land-management data; and (2) at least some detailed knowledge of the distribution of the major taxa, and particularly of those that might be especially sensitive environmental indicators. Maine sits in an ecotonal zone that represents the boundary between the northern coniferous forests (black spruce, white spruce and larch or tamarack) and the northern hardwood forests (oak, beech, maple). Thus, it is potentially on the "cutting edge" for impacts of global warming. (We have thus far in our study identified several taxa in the modern Maine fauna that were not previously known from this far north.) The faunal survey also has potential implications for pest- and forest-management practices, since some Carabid species are important predators on injurious taxa.
As of January, 2001, the total number of Carabid species known from Maine is approaching 400, although some of these are known from single specimens only. Even at this date, no carabid records are available for over 50% of the townships within the state, although all counties and all biophysical regions have been sampled; some 70% of the townships in the state are known by fewer than ten species. Only eleven townships* have been sampled intensely enough that over 50 species have been recovered from within the township limits; many townships, including some with large human populations, remain known homes of fewer than ten species, usually specimens collected unintentionally in surveys for agricultural and forest pests; for at least one of these, all known species are European introductions.
The Maine Carabid Project is projected to continue in one form or another into the indefinite future, since so much work remains to be done. However, a manuscript is currently in preparation that will summarize the current state of our knowledge of the fauna. In the interim, photographs and some basic ecological information, as well as Maine and general North American distributions, for some of our fauna will be posted on the Carabid Photo Page, which will be updated periodically with additional photographs. There are some 20 taxa on the page now, and that number will grow as additional species are added. Click on ANY of the photos above, or the appropriate link below, to go directly to the Carabid Photo Page.

Go to the Carabid Pages in the
Maine Forest Service Insect Collection

(Note: these pages are currently under construction.)
Return to the Maine Entomological Society Home Page
Go to the Maine Carabid Photo Page

The MES web pages are maintained by R. E. Nelson. Please e-mail any questions, comments
or suggestions you may have, especially if you encounter difficulties.

You are visitor number to the Maine Carabid Survey Home Page since 30 May, 2000.

This page last modified 12 August, 2001.