Malthinus flaveolus (Herbst, 1786)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

ELATEROIDEA Leach, 1815

CANTHARIDAE Imhoff, 1856

MALTHININAE Kiesenwetter, 1852

MALTHININI Kiesenwetter, 1852

Malthinus Latreille, 1806

This is a mostly central European species; it is generally common and often abundant from lowland to low mountain altitudes from Spain through northern Italy and Bulgaria to Ukraine, and north to Fennoscandia and the UK, the distribution in southern Europe is discontinuous but it also occurs in North Africa. It is generally common throughout England and Wales, including the islands, and much more sporadic and rare to the far north east of Scotland, it is absent from much of Scotland and Ireland even though it occurs up to 2400m in the Alps. Adults are diurnal, they occur from May until August, peaking in abundance during late June and early July, they are associated with open deciduous woodland and wooded parkland but they fly well and visit a range of flowers and so on hot days in early summer they might occur away from apparently suitable habitats e.g. they are not unusual in domestic gardens or on roadside umbel flowers. They first appear in hawthorn blossom during May and June and soon after appear on foliage and flowers of a wide range of deciduous trees and shrubs, especially oak and they are sometimes common on flowering elder and lime trees, and umbel flowers by hedgerows and wooded borders. Mating pairs may be found on blossom early in the season and females oviposit in decaying trunks and fallen timber where the larvae will develop and pass the winter to pupate the following spring. Both adults and larvae are predaceous but both will sometimes feed on plant material and adults have been observed feeding on pollen. Adults are easily sampled by sweeping or beating blossom or foliage and also occur when beating ivy on dead stumps etc.

5-6mm. A small soft-bodied and fragile species easily recognized by the overall colour and lack of distinct elytra striae. Head black to the middle of the eyes, anteriorly yellow, pronotum yellow with two very variable median dark markings, scutellum yellow, elytra pale yellowish brown with the apices abruptly bright yellow, legs yellow, antennae dark with two basal segments yellow, ventral surface of body almost entirely bright yellow. Head broadest across prominent and almost hemispherical eyes, temples long and strongly converging to a short neck, surface finely rugose and very finely pubescent. Anterior margin of clypeus smoothly rounded, mandibles with a strong internal tooth (in Malthodes this tooth is missing), terminal segment of palps narrow and pointed, all antennomeres very elongate, the third much longer than the second. Pronotum broadest about the middle and narrowed to a rounded anterior margin, posterior angles sharp and near-perpendicular, surface very finely punctured and pubescent. Elytra with broadly rounded shoulders and sinuate lateral margins, apices separately rounded and leaving the wings and terminal abdominal tergites exposed, surface rugose and finely punctured and pubescent, there may be indistinct longitudinal ridges or furrows but not punctured striae-as seen in some of our other species. Legs long and slender; tibiae without obvious apical spurs, fourth tarsomere deeply bilobed, and claws without a distinct basal tooth. Males may be distinguished by their larger eyes, longer antennae and having the head more strongly constricted towards the base.

Malthinus flaveolus 1

Malthinus flaveolus 1

Malthinus flaveolus 2

Malthinus flaveolus 2