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We were walking in the hills of snowdonia the other day and my girlfriend found this in the heather:

enter image description here

I've never seen anything like it. Can anyone identify it? It was the biggest beetle I've ever seen.

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    $\begingroup$ Ah, the rare Dimentium stupidus. It's legs contain a special chemical that makes you impotent and turns your mind to mush. They're harmless otherwise, just don't let one crawl on your bare skin. $\endgroup$ – Olin Lathrop Aug 27 '14 at 15:43
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    $\begingroup$ That's fine, it was my girlfriends hand! @OlinLathrop ha ha $\endgroup$ – Liam Aug 27 '14 at 16:19
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I believe it's the Violet Ground Beetle - Carabus violaceus. This is a close relative to the Carabus coriaceus posted by Jon.

The purple colour is a give away, but as in many insect groups there are often very similar species. As pointed out in the comments to this anwer, this is the case for C. violaceus and C. problematicus (differences)

There are websites like observado.org where sightings can be added as a species or for instance "unknown beetle", where they are reviewed (depending on the availability of the volunteering experts) or identified.

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  • $\begingroup$ Great answer! Yes I think your correct. Something about the other option didn't quite add up. The violet was very prominent. $\endgroup$ – Liam Sep 4 '14 at 9:59
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    $\begingroup$ In the key I use for the Netherlands, I remember there is a very similar species to the Carabus violaceus, I think it is Carabus problematicus. but I can not find my key now so I can not tell you the differences. $\endgroup$ – Wouter Oct 22 '14 at 11:25
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    $\begingroup$ ah of course there is a internet page about the differences: thewcg.org.uk/idaids/cproblematicusviolaceus.htm, based on your picture I think I see the longitudinal granulations, so I tend towards C. problematicus... $\endgroup$ – Wouter Oct 22 '14 at 11:27
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I would say that it is a Carabus coriaceus. It might have a size of 30 to 40mm and is very common around Europe.

enter image description here

Unfortunately the English wikipedia article is rather tiny: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carabus_coriaceus

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