Anotylus maritimus Thomson, C.G., 1861

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

STAPHYLINOIDEA Latreille, 1802

STAPHYLINIDAE Latreille, 1802

OXYTELINAE Fleming, 1821

OXYTELINI Fleming, 1821

Anotylus Thomson, C.G., 1859

This exclusively maritime species occurs discontinuously along the northern European coast from France to the south of Norway and in most countries it is very local and generally rare, it is present in the UK and Iceland but absent from several Baltic countries and the Iberian Peninsula, and to the south it is known only from Italy (Sicily) and northern Africa (Tunisia). In the UK it has been recorded as far north as Orkney but the distribution is sporadic; it is generally more frequent in Wales and the west of England, very local along the south and east coast as far as the Wash and very rare further north, while in Scotland it is local around the east coast and virtually absent from the west, and it also occurs locally around the coast of Northern Ireland. Adults occur on sandy beaches, they are active over a long season from early spring and may be found under stones and driftwood or, commonly, swept in flight during warm weather, they tend to occur in large numbers under seaweed along the strand line and further up the beach among seaweed that has become buried and started to decay. They sometimes swarm in large numbers during spring and early summer and are strongly attracted to carrion, dung and decaying vegetation and for this reason they sometimes become carried with the tide along with host material far into estuaries. Both adults and larvae are saprophagous and at least to some extent predatory, and larvae develop among decaying organic matter through the spring and summer, they may be common among accumulated or buried seaweed and other material rich in insect eggs and larvae etc. and they are thought to pupate in the summer. Adults migrate away from the beach in the autumn to overwinter in the soil on dunes etc, and return early in the year.

3.0-3.8mm. Body shiny black, the pronotum sometimes dark brown, elytra substantially yellowish-brown but usually with the base and lateral margins darkened, legs and antennae pale brown. Head transverse and shiny, eyes small and weakly convex, temples broadly rounded, the surface sparsely punctured throughout and with a variable patch of cellular microsculpture inside and behind the eyes, mandibles strongly protruding, curved and with several strong internal teeth. Antennomeres 5-10 transverse. Pronotum transverse, lateral margins smooth and curved to rounded anterior angles and obtuse posterior angles, surface sparsely and quite strongly punctured throughout and with granular microsculpture towards the lateral margins. Central pronotal groove straight, narrow and usually extending to the apical and basal margins, lateral furrows usually deeper anteriorly and often weak or missing towards the base. Scutellum cordate with a variable median keel. Elytra strongly transverse, sparsely and moderately strongly punctured throughout, often longitudinally confluent and sometimes forming short longitudinal grooves, especially towards the lateral margins, medially with a fine groove adjacent to the raised sutural border. Abdomen strongly bordered, sternites with fine yellow pubescence and variable but usually quite strong cellular microsculpture throughout. Tibiae with two rows of fine hairs or spines along the outer margins, front tibiae strongly emarginate externally before the apex. Tarsi 3-segmented, claws long and curved, without a distinct basal tooth.

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