Beetle (Species and Families)
About half of the world’s 160 or so beetle families occur in New Zealand, and most of the major families are present. Most biodiversity is within a few families – there are 11 families with over 100 species. The most diverse family is Curculionidae or weevils, with about 1,300 species – nearly one-third of the beetle fauna. This is disproportionately high – three times higher than in the UK, for example.
Other large families in New Zealand are (with approximate species numbers in brackets):
Staphylinidae – rove beetles (800)
Carabidae – ground beetles (420)
Cerambycidae – longhorn beetles (180)
Scarabaeidae – scarabs and chafers (150)
Tenebrionidae – darkling beetles (150)
Chrysomelidae – leaf beetles (150).
New Zealand Carabidae Image Gallery (150 species).
Ground beetles (family Carabidae) are widely distributed throughout New Zealand. Of the 299 species living in the South Island, 209 are found nowhere else. Of the 201 North Island species, 111 species occur only there. Ninety species live on both islands.
Thanks to Philip Howe of South Canterbury Museum for identifying these beetles.
Holcaspis oedicnema (Carabidae) - Nelson, Marlborough, southern North Island.