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Atomaria lewisi Reitter, 1877








POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CUCUJOIDEA Latreille, 1802



ATOMARIINI LeConte, 1861

Atomaria Stephens, 1829

Anchicera Thomson, C.G., 1863

This species is native to the eastern Palaearctic and Oriental regions; it is generally common through central Asia to the far east of Russia, China, Japan and Korea and extends south into Northern India, it was first recorded from the west in the 1930s when specimens were found in a domestic garden in south east London and since that time it has spread through much of central and eastern Europe, extending north beyond the Arctic Circle in Fennoscandia. During the 20th century it also became established in the United States and Canada, where it now seems to be widespread, although it has only relatively recently been recognized as such, having previously been known as A. curtula Casey, 1900. Beyond this the species is sporadically recorded throughout the world, it is sometimes described as cosmopolitan but as yet seems to be established only in the northern hemisphere. In the UK it is now abundant throughout England and Wales but more local further north and in Ireland; it occurs on all the islands north to Shetland and is among our most common species of the family. Adults occur year-round; they overwinter among decaying organic material or in tussocks etc. and are active over a long season from early in the year, peaking in abundance from July until September. The species is widely eurytopic, living among decaying plant material almost anywhere; it is often common on open grassland and moorland and has been recorded from old bird and mammal nests, it occurs among garden compost and decaying straw and hay and may be common around stables and sheds etc, as well as other disturbed sites such as parks and domestic gardens. In northern regions, including the United States and Canada, it often occurs in wetlands and all types of both open and dense woodland. Adults are easily sampled by general sweeping or working through suitable samples of compost, and here accumulated grass cuttings can be very productive, they sometimes occur in numbers on hawthorn blossom and other flowers and they fly well, sometimes swarming on warm summer evenings and often coming to light or flight-interception traps.

Atomaria lewisi 1

Atomaria lewisi 1

Atomaria lewisi 2

Atomaria lewisi 2

Atomaria lewisi 3

Atomaria lewisi 3

© Lech Borowiec

Atomaria lewisi 4

Atomaria lewisi 4

© U.Schmidt

1.4-2.0 mm. With a little experience this species will be recognized by the habitus and the form of the antennae. Elongate-oval and discontinuous in outline, entirely brown or yellowish-brown, dorsal surface with rather dense overlapping pale pubescence. Head finely and moderately densely punctured, eyes weakly convex and coarsely faceted, clypeus produced to a point beyond the antennal insertions. Antennae inserted close together, by less than the length of the first segment, basal segment curved and expanded towards the apex (characteristic of this species), segments 2 and 3 elongate, 4-8 quadrate or slightly elongate and subequal in length, 9-11 form a long and loose club, 9 and 10 are strongly transverse and the terminal segment is elongate. Pronotum transverse, broadest about the middle and strongly narrowed to obtuse posterior and anterior angles, at the widest part often distinctly angled, lateral border simple (not doubled) and in places visible from above, surface weakly convex and usually with a distinct transverse impression before the base, this is variable but may be strong and reach the lateral margin, punctures deeper and more distinct than those on the head and elytra, separated by about a puncture’s diameter. Scutellum strongly transverse and broadly-rounded from the base. Elytra smoothly curved from finely-rounded shoulders to a continuous apical margin, without striae or impressions, suture finely bordered, diverging just before the apex, punctures shallow and sparser than those on the pronotum but the surface is variable, mostly smooth and shiny but sometimes finely wrinkled so that the punctured become indistinct. The elytral pubescence is variable, it is usually long, rather erect and overlapping but towards the base, and especially below the shoulders, there are usually a few erect setae which give a random or bristly appearance. Legs long and slender; femora and tibiae simple except the tibiae have extremely fine terminal spurs. Tarsi with five simple segments.

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