AbstractAim To study the origin of the carabid beetle fauna of dry, open anthropogenic habitats.Location Various parts of Europe.Methods Collecting by hand in habitats influenced by humans (arable land, sand pits, ruderal places, road verges, meadows) and naturally open habitats such as talus, supralittoral sand dunes, alvar as well as littoral habitats in south and central Scandinavia. Studies made in other parts of Europe were included in the discussion.Results and conclusion The material comprises about 37,700 specimens. About 8% of the Scandinavian species occurring in anthropogenic habitats may have a littoral origin, about 10% may originate from forests whereas about 9% are euryoecious. A majority of the species (about 66%) originate from primarily open, dry habitats and many of them constitute a steppe or steppe-like element. They invaded the bare landscape soon after the deglaciation and probably survived in naturally open habitats (supralittoral sand dunes, talus, alvar, old riverbeds) during the postglacial warm period, but some species have a recent origin in Scandinavia.