Chlaenius nitidulus (Schrank, 1781)

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ADEPHAGA Clairville, 1806

CARABIDAE Latreille, 1802

LICININAE Bonelli, 1810

CHLAENIINI Brullé, 1834

Chlaenius Bonelli, 1810

This western Palaearctic species occurs throughout most of Europe from Portugal to Greece and extends east into western Siberia, to the north it reaches Finland and southern Sweden, where it was first recorded in 1969, and it has been recorded from the Faroe Islands, it is absent from Asia Minor, North Africa and most of the Mediterranean islands. Through most central Europe it is locally common although in mountain regions it is confined to valleys and rarely occurs above 600m, it is otherwise very local and rare and in many countries, especially in northern Europe, seems to have declined over recent decades. In the UK it was known from the Isle of Wight and East Sussex in the 19th century and was recorded from coastal cliff seepages in Dorset in 1930 but has not been seen since and is probably now extinct here. Typical habitats wetland margins, usually on loamy or clay soils with patchy vegetation exposed to the sun, most often on grassy banks beside nutrient-rich water or coastal floodplains although in central Europe they are occasionally common on arable land and sometimes occur in domestic gardens. Adults occur year-round, they overwinter among litter etc., often at the base of trees and usually away from water, and are active over a long season from early spring, they are mostly crepuscular and nocturnal but also become active on hot summer days when they may be seen running among vegetation or climbing stems in search of prey. Breeding occurs in late spring and summer and larvae develop through the summer, it is not known whether they overwinter but it is thought they pupate in late summer and produce new-generation adults in late summer and autumn, which is typical of the genus. Wing development varies but in northern countries many specimens have poorly developed wings and flight muscles, more generally flight has not been observed and so dispersal is probably by walking.

Chlaenius nitidulus 1

Chlaenius nitidulus 1

Chlaenius nitidulus 2

Chlaenius nitidulus 2

Chlaenius nitidulus 3

Chlaenius nitidulus 3

10.0-12.5 mm. Very distinctive and unmistakable among our fauna due to the pubescent elytra, bright metallic green body and entirely pale legs. In Europe the colour varies and bicoloured specimens are frequent, here the forebody, or sometimes only the pronotum, has a coppery or reddish lustre and contrasts with the green elytra. Head shiny metallic green, finely wrinkled and very finely and sparsely punctured, frontal furrows poorly developed and with a single setiferous puncture beside each eye, mandibles long and robust, and palps entirely pale. Antennae long and filiform, densely pubescent from the fourth segment and with three basal segments pale. Pronotum transverse, widest about the middle and slightly sinuate just before obtuse posterior angles, surface with distinct punctures among rugose microsculpture, basal fovea shallow, wide and often vaguely delimited and there is a well-impressed though variable median longitudinal impressed line. Elytra dilated from rounded shoulders to a continuous apical margin, distinctly explanate and with epipleura crossed before the apex, striae complete to the apex and all interstices densely punctured and with fine pale pubescence. Legs entirely pale brown to yellow, sometimes with the femora or tibial apices vaguely darkened. Male with basal pro-tarsal segments widely dilated.