Megalinus glabratus (Gravenhorst, 1810)
This is a western Palaearctic species with a mostly central and southern distribution in Europe, it is sporadic and very local in northern regions, extending to the UK and southern provinces of Sweden, but more frequent in the south; it occurs throughout the Mediterranean area including the islands and North Africa, extending through the Near East and Asia Minor into western Russia and is present on the Azores and Canary Islands. Here it is locally common in south east and central England, sporadic and rare in the West Country, mostly coastal in Wales and generally scarce in the north of Ireland and throughout Scotland including the western Isles. Adults occur year-round and are active over a long season from early spring, peaking in abundance in late summer and early autumn. In the UK the usual habitat is open grassland or scrub where the nocturnal adults rest by day under stones and other debris but on the continent it is more eurytopic, occurring also in woodland, wooded parkland and even gardens, and throughout its northern range it occurs in coastal situations; in Poland having been recorded under seaweed. More generally both adults and larvae occur among a range of decaying organic matter including leaf-litter, tussocks, decaying wood and loose bark, decaying fungi, moss and compost; they are not particularly associated with dung but we have recorded them beneath old and dry cow pats on calcareous grassland in the Chilterns. Searching under debris or pitfall-trapping are the best ways to record the species, but they are strong fliers and occur at U.V. lights and in flight-interception traps.
Megalinus glabratus 1
Megalinus glabratus 2
10-14mm. The large size, distinctive colour and the form of the pronotum will identify this species. Body entirely black but for the red elytra, legs brown, antennae brown with the basal segment darker. . Head elongate, broadest by rounded posterior angles and narrowed to small eyes that are more or less continuous with the outline, temples much longer than eyes, surface sparsely but quite strongly punctured except for the disc and lacking microsculpture, frontal furrows diverging to the posterior margin of the eyes. Antennal scape as long as the next four segments combined, segments 2 and 3 elongate, 4-10 transverse and the terminal segment pointed at apex. Neck globular; about one-third as wide as the head and smooth but for two punctures on the anterior margin. Pronotum broadest at obtuse anterior angles, strongly narrowed to the neck and gradually narrowed to a rounded basal margin, the posterior angles hardly indicated, surface smooth and shiny, without microsculpture or depressions, lateral series consisting of 4-8 punctures. Scutellum large and triangular, smooth and without microsculpture. Elytra dilated from rounded shoulders, sutural margin overlapping, surface with scattered punctures and sparse pale pubescence. Abdomen with sparse fine punctures and very fine transverse wavy microsculpture, in males the eighth tergite is deeply and narrowly excised. Legs long and robust, tibiae only narrowly expanded to truncate apices, all with a strong spur at the inner apical angle, front tibiae not excavate at base, tarsi 5-segmented, all with a long terminal segment, claws smooth and without a basal tooth.