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The ‘immaculate’ collection

John Walters and I have been assembling this collection for the last few years. Our aim has been to have a single typical specimen of each of the species on the British list, carded as neatly and symmetrically as possible. In a few cases, the collection contains more than one specimen, to illustrate colour variation or sexual dimorphism. We’d still like to fill a few more of the gaps (please help if you can!) but before too much longer it will be time to photograph all these specimens.

This collection has been laid out by printing drawer liners on an A3 printer. If you’re interested in setting out a carabid collection in the way I have done it here, let me know and I can send you the Microsoft® Word file. It can be adapted to give more or less room for each species and to fit into different size drawers or store-boxes.

Many people have helped us to assemble this collection either by donating or exchanging specimens, or by taking us to see certain species. Our thanks go to: Tony Allen, Roy Anderson, Kevin Austin, Dave Boyce, Julia Carey, Jon Cole, Jonty Denton, Scotty Dodd, Brian Eversham, Andrew Graham, Peter Hammond, Mark Hancock, Peter Harvey, Peter Hodge, Richard Jones, Pete Kirby, Alan Lazenby, Sindre Ligaard, Martin Luff, Richard Lyszkowski, Steven MacCormick, Andy McVeigh, Paolo Neri, John Paul, John Read, Martin Rejzek, Pavel Saska, Andy Schofield and Emma Small.


  1. Andrew Duff says:

    Hi Mark,
    How about posting a list of missing species? There can’t be too many gaps now.

  2. markgtelfer says:

    Thanks Andrew,
    I’ve added a link to the page listing the species we haven’t yet photographed alive.

  3. Dave Murray says:

    Just been drooling over your collection (again) and I am puzzled by the specimen below problematicus (third column, second from bottom); what is it?
    Cheers, Dave Murray

  4. markgtelfer says:

    Hi Dave, That is a Danish specimen of Carabus convexus. There are several British specimens from the early 1800s and I suspect this to be an extinct native species.

  5. Frank Ashwood says:

    Hi Mark, I’m just starting out as a carabid collector and would be really interested to try out your template for my collection, if you wouldn’t mind sharing it.
    You have a great collection, it’s given me something to aim for!
    Best regards,

  6. Iain Lawrie says:

    Hi Mark

    I’ve just started focus stacking some beetles from my old collection and thought you might be interested in the results. Here are a few links to some of the images




    My problem at the minute is that I can’t really think of what to do with these and would appreciate any ideas…



  7. markgtelfer says:

    Great shots and the one of crossed epipleura is a gem. Thanks for the links and sorry for not responding sooner.


    Hi Mark

    Please can you provide MS template
    – am curating collection.
    Best wishes


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