The prey detection methods of 12 species of Carabidae and one species of Staphylinidae were investigated using video and orientation techniques. The species examined were Cicindela campestris, Cychrus caraboides, Carabus problematicus, C. violaceus, Calosoma maderae, Nebria complanata, Scarites abbreviates, Broscus cephaloles, Pterostichus madidus, P. melanarius, P. niger, Abax parallelepipedus and Staphylinus olens.

All the species examined were seen to respond to prey upon contact (either by tactile or gustatory reception) during locomotor activity. Tests using orientation chambers showed that some of the species would orientate towards prey in the absence of contact. Some species orientated using vision (C. campestris, C. maderae, S. abbreviates, A. parallelepipedus). This was most frequent when tested with fast-moving prey. In others, orientation towards prey occurred when olfactory cues were available (P. madidus, P. melanarius, P. niger and A.parallelepipedus). All of the species employing this method of prey detection belonged to the Pterostichini and it appears that the receptors involved are situated on the antennae. Although some species did not orientate towards prey in the absence of contact cues, some of these species were found to respond to slug mucus (C. caraboides, C. problematicus, C. violaceus and S. abbreviates). The receptors for this are probably situated on the terminal ends of the palps. The method of prey detection used is discussed in relation to the ecology of the species.