European Ground Beetle in Alaska

Subject: Beetle ID
Location: Anchorage, AK
July 31, 2016 10:37 am
Although born and raised in Anchorage, this year is the first I’ve come across this beetle. I can not seem to find any Alaskan reference (picture) on the web, so I’m turning it over to you. The sample photo’d was found while working in a flower bed. A couple of more came up while raking out some heavy moss in the yard. (They seemed to be under the moss.) They definitely do not like light and run until they can hide their body under something, or can burrow into loose dirt or a crack. (This one was very hard to photograph.) They are at least 3/4 inch long and possibly closer to an inch. Other than the size, the iridescent horns on the rear edges of thorax is the most distinctive feature.
Signature: Rich Johnson

European Ground Beetle
European Ground Beetle

Dear Rich,
Based on this BugGuide image, we are confident this is a European Ground Beetle,
Carabus nemoralis, a species that was introduced from the Old World.  Its North American range, according to BugGuide is:  “n. US & Canada, absent from Great Plains (BG data) native to Europe, adventive in NA (in the east: NF-MN-ne.VA; in the west: BC-CA to AB-UT; isolated in the Saskatoon area, SK).”  According to the Natural History of Southeast Alaska:  “Introduced species so far (as of 2011) known only from Sitka, where it does not seem to be uncommon” and “First reported from Alaska in Sitka, adults seem to be relatively common around yards/gardens by May and into June, though not later in the summer.”

Thank you so much for the ID; the photo attached to your link is my guy.
Given the climate around south central I’m not too surprised they are this far north of Sitka.
We’ve also just had two of the mildest winters and warmest summers that I can remember.
(And I’m Anchorage born & raised, and over 60.)
I’m sure they are not seen much due to their apparent aversion to daylight, which can be tough to avoid in the summer up here.
All the best, and thank you again.

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