Home / Ground Beetles (Carabidae) / Black Clock Beetle (Pterostichus madidus)

Black Clock Beetle (Pterostichus madidus)

The black clock beetle of the ground beetle family is indigenous to Europe, notably the United Kingdom. As evident from their name, they are majorly black, mainly thriving in woodlands, grasslands, and gardens during summer.

Black Clock Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Carabidae
  • Genus: Pterostichus
  • Scientific name: Pterostichus madidus

Physical Description and Identification

Adult 

Size: 14-20 mm

Color: It is black, with legs ranging from wine-red, reddish-brown to black.

Other Characteristic Features: These beetles have deep vertical ridges on their elytra. The protonum is smooth and round, with an indentation across the middle.

Pterostichus madidus

Larva

Their larvae have a cream body, going through three instars before maturing fully. They are highly segmented, having three pairs of legs and huge mouthparts.

Pupa

Like most other ground beetle species, the pupa of the black clock beetle is white, approximately measuring 5 mm.

Egg

After breeding in autumn, females lay their eggs on the host plant.

Quick Facts

Other namesRain beetle
LifespanNot recorded
DistributionEurope; primarily in the UK
HabitatPrimarily seen in gardens, grasslands, and dry woodlands, beneath stones, grass, or loose bark
Seasons activeSummer
Diet of adultsCaterpillars, slugs, and snails; sometimes they will nibble on fallen fruit
Black Clock Beetle Picture

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

They do not do any real damage to the environments they live in, only sometimes grazing on fruit.

Did You Know

  • As per the common UK belief, the appearance of this beetle indicates the possibility of rain. And according to the age-old superstition, if anyone would step on it or kill it even mistakenly, it would for sure rain. 
  • Like many other ground beetles, the black clock beetle has lost the ability to fly as it is better adapted to hunt on the ground. 
Black Clock Beetle Image

Image Source: warehouse1.indicia.org.uk, live.staticflickr.com, aphidsrus.files.wordpress.com, lh3.googleusercontent.com

The black clock beetle of the ground beetle family is indigenous to Europe, notably the United Kingdom. As evident from their name, they are majorly black, mainly thriving in woodlands, grasslands, and gardens during summer.

Black Clock Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult 

Size: 14-20 mm

Color: It is black, with legs ranging from wine-red, reddish-brown to black.

Other Characteristic Features: These beetles have deep vertical ridges on their elytra. The protonum is smooth and round, with an indentation across the middle.

Pterostichus madidus

Larva

Their larvae have a cream body, going through three instars before maturing fully. They are highly segmented, having three pairs of legs and huge mouthparts.

Pupa

Like most other ground beetle species, the pupa of the black clock beetle is white, approximately measuring 5 mm.

Egg

After breeding in autumn, females lay their eggs on the host plant.

Quick Facts

Other namesRain beetle
LifespanNot recorded
DistributionEurope; primarily in the UK
HabitatPrimarily seen in gardens, grasslands, and dry woodlands, beneath stones, grass, or loose bark
Seasons activeSummer
Diet of adultsCaterpillars, slugs, and snails; sometimes they will nibble on fallen fruit
Black Clock Beetle Picture

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

They do not do any real damage to the environments they live in, only sometimes grazing on fruit.

Did You Know

  • As per the common UK belief, the appearance of this beetle indicates the possibility of rain. And according to the age-old superstition, if anyone would step on it or kill it even mistakenly, it would for sure rain. 
  • Like many other ground beetles, the black clock beetle has lost the ability to fly as it is better adapted to hunt on the ground. 
Black Clock Beetle Image

Image Source: warehouse1.indicia.org.uk, live.staticflickr.com, aphidsrus.files.wordpress.com, lh3.googleusercontent.com

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