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15 Black Clock Beetle Facts You'll Never Forget

Black clock beetle facts are about their food, surroundings, and breeding habits.

The black clock beetle (Pterostichus madidus) is a small and attractive insect. While there is not a lot of information about them, they are primarily garden beetles that are most active at night. Their prominent features make them easily distinguishable from the usual variety of ground beetles since they have a shiny black exoskeleton with deep vertical ridges that are visible on the wing casings. In addition to this, their pronotum (prominent plate-like structure) is rounded and smooth with a central indented line in the middle. On most occasions, their legs are red-brown but can vary in hue depending on each individual.

This species of beetles is commonly found in the temperate regions of Europe, including in countries like Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Pterostichus madidus are primarily found in open and shaded habitats under logs, barks, debris, dry moorland, as well as amongst grass. Adults are mostly flightless since they are better hunters on the ground and possess the qualities of quick colonizers. They can be classified as scavengers as well as predators due to their predatory nature towards arthropods. These beetles are also called clocks in Ireland. They get their name from their behavior and glossy black appearance.

This article covers information about the wings of a ground beetle, black clock beetle smell, and black clock beetle eggs.

You can continue reading about other beetles by looking at these Japanese beetle facts and eastern Hercules beetle facts here on Kidadl.

Black Clock Beetle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black clock beetle?

The black clock beetle (Pterostichus madidus) is a type of insect belonging to the Carabidae family.

What class of animal does a black clock beetle belong to?

It is a species of ground beetle (Pterostichus madidus) that belongs to the class Insecta or insects.

How many black clock beetles are there in the world?

They are dispersed across Europe. Since they are a fairly common species, there is no definitive number given to this population of black beetles.

Where does a black clock beetle live?

This ground beetle species lives on dry land, primarily under stones, loose bark, and grass tussocks. These ground beetles are also commonly found in gardens and arable land. They also tend to search for and infest well-lit areas, mostly during the summer season.

What is a black clock beetle's habitat?

The Pterostichus madidus is a type of ground beetle that thrives in grassy garden areas. It is mainly found under debris, barks, or amongst stones. Primarily found and native to the UK, they are also found in and around regions of the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, and Denmark.

Who do black clock beetles live with?

Ground beetles live in the backyard, lawn, and garden. Like most insects, they keep to themselves and do not live with other individuals.

How long does a black clock beetle live?

The life cycle of a Pterostichus madidus is one year, but there have been reports of them living up to two years in higher altitudes.

How do they reproduce?

This ground beetle breeds in fall and the larvae develop over the coming winter. Their reproduction process is very quick as they lay a dozen eggs in one sitting. These black beetles live in burrows, feed upon soft-bodied insects, and undergo three molts (shedding the exoskeleton) before developing into adult black beetles. They are highly segmented, have three pairs of legs, and large mouthparts.

What is their conservation status?

There is not a lot of data about the conservation status of the black clock beetle. If they sneak into your backyard or any area with plantations and soil, there is no need to remove them from your garden since they are present in low numbers and act as pest control in the soil. However, if their population increases and it starts bothering you, try a soil treatment to get rid of them.

Black Clock Beetle Fun Facts

What do black clock beetles look like?

This ground beetle species is shiny black in appearance, especially the wings and heads that appear to cover their entire body. Their legs are reddish-brown or might even range to black. This species' pronotum helps identify and differentiate them from a black beetle and other beetle species. Their elytra or wing casings are clearly visible as deep vertical ridges.

Black clock beetle facts are about their appearance, what it eats, and predatory habits on pests.

How cute are they?

These ground beetles are very small insects and typically cannot be seen or held that often. While they are gorgeous with extravagant black detailing, they cannot be classified as cute.

How do they communicate?

Most ground beetles cannot see very well, so they communicate using sounds, vibrations, and pheromones.

How big is a black clock beetle?

This ground beetle is around 0.5-0.7 in (12.7-17.7 mm) in size (length), meaning they are slightly larger than an ant.

How fast can a black clock beetle move?

This ground beetle does have wings, but has lost its ability to fly because they are better hunters on the ground. They can move pretty quickly on the ground since their main aim is not to be seen by humans or other larger predators.

How much does a black clock beetle weigh?

Since they are quite small, their weight remains undetermined.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both sexes have little to no difference between them. Their identification is made by their scientific name Pterostichus madidus as well as their other scientific names Feronia madida (Fabricius) Steropus madidus (Fabricius).

What would you call a baby black clock beetle?

Baby black clock beetles are called larva or larvae after they are born. Once they mature into a full adult, they are referred to by their scientific names.

What do they eat?

These beetles are known to forage in the grass cover, looking for bugs. They primarily feed on soft-spined bugs or arthropods like caterpillars and smaller slugs. They also feed on snails and fallen plant material like garden strawberries. Larger slugs are typically not eaten.

Are they poisonous?

No, these ground beetles are not venomous and not hostile towards humans. Moreover, they do not pose any major threats to the life of a human.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these ground beetles are quite small and not very interactive with humans. They thrive in their natural habitat and would not make good pets.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

Most members of this family have lost the ability to fly although they have wings. They are better hunters on foot.

These beetles are commonly found in gardens and are often found inside the house, but it is recommended that homeowners do not remove them from the garden since they help in controlling pests and act as pest control. Pests like slugs and snails are controlled by these beetles.

These ground beetles are most active at night. 

They are typically called rain beetles instead of ground beetles in the UK due to a superstition that says it will rain if you step on one. However, there is no evidence currently to show that this is true.

How many eggs do bloody-nosed beetle lay? 

The bloody-nosed beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa) is a species that gets its name from its ability to bleed on reflex. The month of April is when these beetles breed and when the eggs hatch into larvae. These larvae are quite noticeable in the spring and summer seasons because of their metallic appearance and large body size.

Is the bloody-nosed beetle a leaf beetle? 

The bloody-nosed beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa) is a type of leaf beetle that is native to Europe. Leaf beetles are part of the beetle family Chrysomelidae, which includes over 37,000 species in more than 2,500 genera, making them one of the largest and most popular beetle families. These beetles feed on all types of plant tissues and are fully herbivorous.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other insects from our masked hunter facts and bed bug facts!

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable happy birthday ladybug coloring pages.

Main image by gailhampshire

Second image by Jeffdelonge

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