Masoreus wetterhallii (Gyllenhal, 1813)

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ADEPHAGA Clairville, 1806

CARABIDAE Latreille, 1802

LEBIINAE Bonelli, 1810

MASOREINI Chaudoir, 1871

Masoreus Dejean, 1821

Masoreus wetterhallii is a generally scarce and local, mostly coastal species in the UK, occurring from South Wales to Lincolnshire and also inland on the Brecklands of East Anglia. Typical habitats are among low vegetation on dry sandy or gravelly soils or at the base of plants on dunes and dune slacks, which is much the same as in Europe but here it also occurs on open grassland on suitable soils and is often associated with heather and other low-growing plants on sandy heathland. Adults occur year-round, they are diurnal but rarely found away from plant roots and rosettes etc, and reproduction occurs in late summer and autumn.  Larvae are active in the autumn before overwintering in the soil and completing their development in the spring. New generation adults occur from early summer and it would seem that dispersion occurs by walking as macropterous individuals are rare and flight muscles tend to be undeveloped. Adults usually occur in small numbers and often among larger populations of other carabids that frequent similar habitats; on the continent often with Calathus ambiguus (Paykull, 1790), Harpalus anxius (Duftschmid, 1812), Syntomus foveolatus (Geoffroy in Fourcroy, 1785) and Cymindis macularis Mannerheim, 1824.

4.5-6.0mm. Superficially similar to various Trechinae but lacking any deep furrows on the head and with fully-developed maxillary palps, this species is readily distinguished by the truncate elytra and series of short spines along the outer margin towards the apex of the fore tibiae. Body entirely brown, usually with the head and apical half or two-thirds of the elytra darker, appendages entirely pale brown. Head with large convex eyes and short converging temples, vertex and frons smoothly convex and very finely wrinkled and punctured, inner margin of eyes with a single setiferous puncture, and the antennae pubescent from the fourth segment. Pronotum widely transverse, broadest slightly in front of the middle and smoothly curved to rounded anterior and posterior angles, basal margin slightly sinuate laterally and produced medially. Elytra broad and almost parallel-sided, with rounded shoulders and obliquely-truncate apical margins which almost cover the abdomen, striae, including a short scutellary striole, weakly impressed and almost impunctate, interstices weakly convex and very finely rugose and punctured; the third with 2 setiferous punctures adjacent to the third stria. Basal pro-tarsomeres dilated in the male.

Masoreus wetterhallii

Masoreus wetterhallii

Masoreus Dejean, 1821 is a small genus of 7 species native to Europe, North Africa and the Near East; five species occur in Europe but 4 of these are restricted to the Mediterranean region and the Canary Islands and only M. wetterhalii is widespread, occurring locally in lowland areas throughout the region, including North Africa and the Canary Islands, north to the UK and southern Fennoscandia and east into Russia and Ukraine.  The genus is variously classified within the Masoreini Chaudoir, 1871, a tribe of the Harpalinae Bonelli, 1810, or within the Cyclosomini Laporte, 1834, which is classified within the Harpalinae, Lebiinae Bonelli, 1810 or within a separate carabid subfamily, Cyclosominae Laporte, 1834 –which is a worldwide and speciose group of 20 genera in 3 tribes but is very poorly represented in temperate regions.

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