Monotoma brevicollis Aubé, 1837
POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886
CUCUJOIDEA Latreille, 1802
MONOTOMINAE Laporte, 1840
This Palaearctic-wide species is locally common throughout Central and Northern Europe, from the Pyrenees to the Balkans and north to the UK and the Baltic countries where it reaches southern provinces of Norway and Finland, but extends to the Arctic Circle in Sweden. To the south it is present on many of the Mediterranean islands and it is also recorded from North Africa. According to Fauna Europaea (fauna-eu.org) it is also known from North America, but we cannot find references for this. In the UK it is common in south-eastern England, East Anglia and parts of the midlands, but otherwise very local and rare with records from Dorset, Scilly Isles, Lundy, South Wales, and further north to Derbyshire and Cheshire. The species is usually associated with decaying vegetable matter such as leaf litter and matted grass, usually in rather open situations, but also occasionally in woodland and parkland. They are sometimes frequent among compost and decaying grass cuttings in domestic gardens etc., they have been recorded at carrion and blossom, and in Northern Europe among dry horse and sheep dung. Adults are present year-round; they overwinter among litter or in tussocks and are active from April until October, peaking in abundance during May and again in late summer. Nothing is known of the biology but larvae are thought to be mycophagous, feeding on spores and developing among decaying damp vegetation. Adults occasionally swarm in spring and late summer, but they otherwise rarely occur in the open; they may be sieved or extracted from suitable samples at any time, and during the winter they sometimes occur among flood refuse.
Monotoma brevicollis 1
Monotoma brevicollis 2
2.1-2.5 mm. Elongate, flattened and discontinuous in outline, body entirely dark grey to black, usually with the elytra and clypeus at least partly reddish, appendages brown. Head and pronotum with rather random pale setae, elytra with setae arranged in neat longitudinal rows. Head transverse, broadest across large and protruding eyes and with short, acutely-angled temples, cheeks expanded in front of the eyes then converging to a truncate anterior margin. Surface uneven, densely punctured and with rather dense scale-like setae. Antennae inserted laterally on the cheeks, 11-segmented; two basal segments enlarged, segments 3-9 elongate, and 10 and 11 forming a fused club. Pronotum quadrate or nearly so, broadest across the base and narrowed to protruding anterior angles, each posterior angle with a well-developed callosity, surface with two broad and usually oblique depressions in the basal half, strongly and closely punctured and with extremely fine granular microsculpture, pale setae randomly oriented and similar to those on the head. Elytra slightly broader than the pronotum across rounded shoulders, more-or-less parallel-sided in the basal half to two-thirds, then narrowed to almost truncate apices, with strongly-punctured striae that fade towards the apex, and impunctate interstices which are usually distinctly microsculptured in the basal half. Femora robust and simple, tibiae weakly broadened from the base to rounded apices, without obvious apical spurs. Tarsi 5-segmented in females, 5-5-4 in males, third segment lobed ventrally and terminal segment long and curved in both sexes. In males the front tibiae are curved inwards towards the apex.