The family Carabidae (ground-beetles, including tiger-beetles) is composed of over 3000 species distributed among 1927 genera worldwide. Carabids occupy most land habitats on nearly all continents. These beetles are abundant in the field and attract attention with their peculiar shape and coloration. As a family, Carabidae are sensitive to their environment and are commonly used as biological indicators to evaluate the diversity of life in ecological systems, indicate the influence of landscape changes, evaluate environmental health, predict the effect of climate changes, select habitats for nature conservation, and characterise forest soil. They can also be used to control pest insects (e.g., caterpillars) In the future, ground-beetles may become more commonly used in biological control, e.g., as natural control agents against harmful insects, especially soil pests, or as control agents of weeds, especially their seeds. In New Zealand, conservation biologists have listed many, often large-sized carabids, as rare or threatened and worthy of protection.
This Fauna of New Zealand contribution is aimed at specialists and non-specialists; it should greatly facilitate identification and information gathering. Its purpose is to provide for the first time a review of all New Zealand carabids above the species level, including: comparative descriptions for subfamilies, tribes, subtribes, genera, and subgenera; identification keys for subfamilies, tribes, and genera; habitus (whole body) drawings, geographic range, habitat, and collecting techniques for all genera; the most relevant publications for all included carabids; an updated list of species and a summary of all changes since the 2001 carabid catalogue, Fauna of New Zealand No 43. Three genera and one species are described as new for science; many new names are introduced to comply with current scientific knowledge