Life History, Biology, and Distribution of Pterostichus melanarius (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in North America

Anna K. Busch, Briana E. Wham, John F. Tooker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Pterostichus melanarius (Illiger, 1798) is a Palearctic generalist predator native to Europe. It was unintentionally introduced to North America at least twice in the mid 1920s and has since become widespread in Canada and the United States. Although P. melanarius is a valuable natural enemy in many different agricultural systems, we are not aware of any effort to compile in one publication details of its life history, diet, distribution, and factors that influence its populations. Some studies in North America have investigated the effects of P. melanarius on pest species and native carabid assemblages. Moreover, given that it is an exotic species whose range appears to still be expanding, it will be valuable to predict its potential distribution in North America. Therefore, the goals of this paper are to: 1) compile information on the life history and biology of P. melanarius, 2) review the effects of various agricultural practices on this species, and 3) use ecological niche modeling to determine the potential range of P. melanarius in the United States and which climate variables are most important for range expansion. Our review revealed that P. melanarius appears to provide benefits most consistently in diverse agricultural systems managed with no-till or reduced till methods, whereas our modeling revealed that P. melanarius likely occupies, or will occupy, more of the northern U.S. than is currently recognized, particularly in the Appalachian and Rocky Mountain regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1257-1266
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental entomology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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