Monotoma longicollis (Gyllenhal, 1827)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CUCUJOIDEA Latreille, 1802

MONOTOMIDAE Laporte, 1840

MONOTOMINAE Laporte, 1840

Monotoma Herbst,1793

Native to the Palaearctic region this species is now Holarctic following introductions to Japan, the United States, Canada where it is now widespread, it has also spread further afield and has a rather patchy world distribution including West Africa, Australia, New Zealand and several South American countries. In Europe it is locally common throughout, from the Mediterranean to the far north of Scandinavia and the UK where it is quite common but of local occurrence throughout England and Wales. Natural habitats include situations where decaying organic matter accumulates; leaf litter and moss, hay and straw, old dry dung, compost, bird nests, grass cuttings and ant nests etc. but they also occur among stored grains and other foodstuffs, which is how they have become more widespread, although once established they soon become invasive e.g. in Australia they are mostly associated with compost and decaying grass cuttings in domestic gardens. Adults fly and have been recorded from flight-interception traps, in boreal forests, where they occur among accumulated spruce litter, they are among the large beetle fauna attracted to areas of recently burnt timber.  Adults occur year-round and seem to peak in abundance in late summer and autumn. Very little is known of the biology of this species but both adults and larvae are thought to be mould feeders.

Readily identified by the shape of the pronotum which is broadest near the anterior angles and tapers towards the base. 1.5-2.0mm. Entirely pale to dark reddish brown with paler appendages.  Head and pronotum densely and coarsely punctured and with pale semi-erect pubescence, head without deep longitudinal impressions, eyes convex and proportionally large, temples short, less than half the diameter of the eyes, divergent and produced to an acute angle at the base. Pronotum elongate and broadest across strongly tuberculate anterior angles, laterally narrowed to a curved basal margin, the posterior angles indistinct. Surface with fine isodiametric microsculpture between the punctures, basal fovea small and confluent, in some specimens there are very shallow depressions in the anterior half, lateral teeth very fine. Elytra with broad, anteriorly produced shoulders, rather parallel-sided and truncate apically exposing the pygidium, rows of setiferous punctures mostly confused and forming distinct striae usually only on the disc. Male front tibiae slightly curved inward towards the apex and first abdominal sternite without a median impression.

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