Amara tibialis (Paykull, 1798)

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ADEPHAGA Clairville, 1806

CARABIDAE Latreille, 1802

PTEROSTICHINAE Bonelli, 1810

ZABRINI Bonelli, 1810

Amara Bonelli, 1810

Amara Bonelli, 1810

This is a central and northern Eurasian species occurring from France to Northern Italy and through Asia Minor to Siberia and northern Mongolia, it is absent from Mediterranean regions and extends north to the southern provinces of Sweden and Finland and into the UK. In northern parts of this distribution it is locally common but in central Europe it has a sporadic occurrence e.g. it is very local and rare in Switzerland, Austria and southern Germany and appears on various Red Lists, while in Belgium it is mainly coastal.  In the UK it is locally common in southern and central England, becoming more local and mostly coastal in the western areas and Ireland, in Scotland it occurs mainly along the eastern coast and is largely absent from the west although there are records from the Outer Hebrides. Here it occurs in open and dry lowland areas exposed to the sun, usually on light sandy or gravelly soils among short and quite dense vegetation such as grazed pasture or heather moorland, while on the continent it also occurs in river valleys in low mountain regions up to 1500m. Adults are present year-round; they overwinter in tussocks etc. and are active from March until October, peaking in May. Mating occurs in the spring and larvae develop through the summer, on the continent pupae have been found in the soil in August and new generation adults appear in late summer. Adults may be recorded by pitfall trapping or by carefully searching among vegetation; we have found them by searching on local heathland in two distinct habitats, firstly they were active in bright sun among very short and closely-grazed turf, and a few weeks later and about one kilometre away they were active nocturnally among long grass beside a temporary pool. They are rather illusive and tend not to roam out in the open like many Amara species and so will need to be searched for carefully, at least some individuals are capable of flight and so they may turn up in any suitable situation.

Amara tibialis 1

Amara tibialis 1

Amara tibialis 2

Amara tibialis 2

Amara tibialis 3

Amara tibialis 3

Amara tibialis 4

Amara tibialis 4

A distinctive species characterized by the small size, 4.5-5.9mm, rather parallel-sided appearance and usually bright brassy metallic colouration. Vertex of head smooth, with two setiferous punctures beside relatively large and convex eyes, antennae black with the three basal segments pale, rarely the third may be darkened, and elongate and parallel-sided apical segments. Pronotum strongly transverse with evenly curved lateral margins than narrow slightly to the base, surface smooth and unpunctured, with four small and deep fovea behind the basal margin. Elytra with very fine punctured striae and flat interstices, the scutellary striole reduced, interrupted or missing altogether and scutellary pore absent. Legs dark with the tibiae at least partly pale, pro-tibial spur single. Male with dilated basal pro-tarsal segments. Similar to A. infima (Duftschmid, 1812) but here the terminal antennal segments are shorter and rounded in outline.