Six new genera and 17 new species of troglobitic carabid beetles (Carabidae) from the Pilbara and Yilgarn regions have recently been described by Martin Baehr (The Bavarian State Collection of Zoology) and Dean Main. Eight species have been named in honour of past and present Bennelongia stalwarts Jane McCrae, Jim Cocking, Mike Scanlon, Michael Curran, Sean Bennett, Jeremy Quartermaine, Grant Pearson and Dean Main, who collected or identified the holotypes.
Carabids, or ground beetles as they are commonly known, are extremely diverse and are generally predatory, although the ecology of hypogean species is understudied. The recently described species exhibit typical morphological adaptations to the subterranean environment, such as depigmentation and reduced or absent eyes.
This paper forms part of a series by Martin Baehr that has described 22 subterranean Carabids from Western Australia:
2016 – seventeen new species of the Bembidiini tribe described from the Pilbara and Yilgarn;
2014 – two new species of the Physocrotaphini tribe described from the Pilbara; and
2014 – three new species of the Zuphiini tribe described from the Pilbara.
Many remain to be described and collected, watch this space… and beetle around.