Cyclodinus constrictus (Curtis, 1838)
This widespread western Palaearctic species is generally common around the Mediterranean coast from Spain to Greece and extending into the Near East, it occurs on most of the Islands and across coastal North Africa and the Canary islands, to the north it is less common and rather sporadic although it may be increasing in abundance and range; it extends from Portugal to Germany and the UK, it is almost exclusively coastal but there are isolated populations at a few inland saline situations in Europe. The nominate subspecies occurs throughout this range while a further subspecies, C. c. subconvexus Rey, 1892 is restricted to France, but the systematic are in need of revision and others are sometimes recognized from North Africa (ssp. lameyi) and southern Europe (ssp. marinus). In the UK it is very local in maritime situations in the south and east from the Wash to Dorset, including the Isle Of Wight, and it has also been recorded from Ireland (Wexford); typical habitats are sandy or silty and clay soils at the margins of salty or brackish water and they are only rarely recorded far from this biotope. Adults occur year-round; they are active over a long season from early spring until late summer or autumn, peaking in abundance from May until July, and while the species is very local it may be very common where it occurs, they will often be found among matted seaweed and other vegetation or under debris on moist substrate and, often in abundance, among decaying litter on salt marsh margins, but on warm days they may be observed running quickly on bare soil and even swept from umbel flowers. Larvae occur in the same situations as the adults; they develop among litter through the summer and are omnivorous and opportunistic predators. Because they tend to occur in numbers the adults are easily found by searching under debris or among matted vegetation but they will need to be examined carefully as they often occur alongside other species and searching under debris on hot summer days in open situations will often yield two or three species.
Cyclodinus constrictus 1
Cyclodinus constrictus 2
2.5-3.0 mm. Elongate and discontinuous in outline with a narrow forebody and elongate-oval elytra, body reddish-brown with various dark markings to the elytra; typically an area around the scutellum, a transverse band across the middle which may be interrupted at the suture, and the apical area, but the elytra are often substantially dark with pale markings behind the shoulders and at the apex, and rarely the entire body is dark grey, almost black, appendages pale brown. Recognized among our species by the strongly rounded head and elongate pronotum. Head with convex and protruding eyes that have large facets and temples evenly rounded to a narrow neck, surface weakly convex and finely punctured and pubescent, without structure, terminal maxillary palpomere elongate and gradually broadened to a truncate apex. Antennae inserted laterally in front of the eyes, 11-segmented and only slightly widened towards the apex, basal segment gradually widened from the base and curved internally. Pronotum distinctly elongate, broadest behind a rounded apical margin and strongly constricted in the basal third before rounded posterior angles, surface convex and punctured as the head but more strongly and densely so before the basal margin. Elytra broadest about the middle, with sloping shoulders and evenly curved to a continuous apical margin that covers the abdomen, without striae, the surface smooth though sometimes faintly rugose towards the apex, and finely punctured and pubescent throughout. Hind wings fully developed. Legs long and slender; femora without teeth, tibiae narrow, almost parallel-sided and lacking terminal spurs, tarsi 5-5-4, the penultimate segment with long and narrow lobes. Claws smooth and not toothed at the base.