Cypha longicornis (Paykull, 1800)
POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886
STAPHYLINOIDEA Latreille, 1802
ALEOCHARINAE Fleming, 1821
HYPOCYPHTINI Laporte, 1835
Cypha Leach, 1819
This is by far the most common member of the genus, it is locally common throughout Europe though generally more scarce in the north, it extends south to Morocco and Algeria and north to the UK and southern Fennoscandia. Here it is common throughout Wales and England north to the Humber and sporadic and rare further north to the Scottish Highlands. Adults occur in a wide variety of habitats, typically in wet or permanently damp situations such as marshes, peat bogs and damp grassland but also among damp decaying logs and stumps in woodland and parkland and among leaf-litter and decaying vegetation generally e.g. we have found them among decaying fungi on dead beech stumps in our local park during the autumn. They probably occur year-round; we have recorded adults from all months except October and November, through the winter they occur in woodland and wetland extraction samples and in the warmer months occasionally from sweeping vegetation. Adults are both diurnal and nocturnal, at night they may be seen on trunks and logs etc. and during the day they may be found in a range of situations, they fly well and occasionally visit flowers, especially those of yellow Asteraceae, and sometimes in numbers, we have recorded them from yellow pan traps set on a domestic lawn in bright sun and in a malaise trap by day and night. When sieved from leaf litter etc. they can roll into a ball and remain still for long periods and so will need to be searched for very carefully although they can also run very quickly when alarmed.
These tiny fusiform beetles resemble some Tachyporinae (and were classified among this subfamily in Joy) but may be distinguished by the much smaller size and 10-segmented antennae. In the wild they are very distinctive due to their broad and very convex form, and when active on flowers they often have the abdomen retracted beneath the elytra giving them a Glyptodont- or armadillo-like appearance. 1.0-1.4mm. Distinguished from our other members of the genus by the form of the antennae. Head black, pronotum and elytra brown with the margins variously paler, abdomen dark brown or black with the
apex pale, appendages pale to dark brown. Head transverse when viewed from above, with small and weakly convex eyes that follow the lateral curve. Vertex and frons simply convex and very finely and sparsely punctured and pubescent. Antennae 10-segmented and only very gradually broadened towards the apex, basal segment long and broad, second segment long and almost cylindrical, 3-7 elongate and broadened apically; the seventh as long as the eighth and longer and broader than the sixth, terminal segment at least as long as 8+9 and narrowed to a pointed tip. Pronotum transverse, broadest close to the base and rounded anteriorly, posterior angles rounded and basal margin produced backwards, surface evenly and very strongly convex and very finely punctured and pubescent. Elytra transverse and convex, curved laterally (generally more strongly so than in our other species) and a little narrower across the base than the base of the pronotum, apical margins separately and quite strongly curved. Elytral surface very finely punctured and pubescent, more densely so than the head and pronotum. Abdomen strongly bordered, each tergite finely and sparsely punctured and pubescent. Tarsi 4-segmented; in the male the front tarsi are slightly wider when compared to those of the female.