The genus Carabus, described by Linnaeus in 1758, is widely distributed, comprising 853 species from the temperate regions of Europe, North Africa, Asia and North America. Due to their elegant forms and often sumptuous colours, these beetles are amongst the most often collected insects. They also provide precious material for scientists interested in the geographical variation of a natural group and the ways in which it has evolved. The Illustrated Catalogue of the genus Carabus of the World is a continuation of the catalogues published by the same author in 1991 and 1994. However, this new edition is more than a simple update, being considerably augmented by information on type localities of taxa and with drawings of the male aedeagus for all the species and the main subspecies, which often allow their identification. The type species of each subgenus is illustrated by a colour photograph. A new classification is proposed, taking into account recent work on the morphology of adults and larvae, along with published DNA analyses. Running to over 400 pages and with more than 1200 figures, this richly illustrated work covers the whole nomenclature of the genus Carabus. Following a summary of the morphological characteristics of these insects, the author discusses at length the different classifications that have been proposed and considers our present knowledge of the phylogeny of the genus, with particular reference to molecular analyses. The catalogue proper follows with a classification of the taxa in systematic sequence. For each species, information is given on its general distribution, a classification of the subspecies, the corresponding lists of synonyms and homonyms, the type localities of the taxa and at least one drawing of the aedeagus.
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The author is a world-renowned specialist of the comparative morphology and phylogeny of insects at the Museum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris. Based on his studies of material from all the major museums of the world, he has published more than 150 scientific papers on the genus Carabus. His 30 expeditions to the mountains of Asia (China, Himalayas, Central Asia, Iran, Lebanon and Turkey) has allowed him to discover many new species and to study first-hand the geographical variation of these insects in the field.
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