The Velvet Ground Beetle (Graphipterus sp.; possibly Graphipterus ancora or Graphipterus cordiger) is a common insect in the Carabidae family of beetles. It is a carabid.
The Velvet Ground Beetle has velvety brown elytra (wing casings). It has a light-brown body with dark-brown markings. It has long, segmented antennae. It has a head, thorax, and abdomen. It is flightless, even though it has wings. It runs along the ground.
It grows to 1-2 centimetres (less than one inch) long.
It is found in most countries in Africa, especially in southern Africa. It likes open areas with sandy soil near ant nests. It is mostly seen in the rainy season.
It is mostly nocturnal.
It is carnivorous, eating other insects. It runs swifly to catch its prey. For its size, it can run very fast.
The female lays eggs that hatch into larvae (grubs). The grubs pupate underground and the adults emerges in autumn.
It has an average life span of about 2 years.
Location of photographs: Maun, Botswana
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM