Olophrum piceum (Gyllenhal, 1810)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

STAPHYLINOIDEA Latreille, 1802

STAPHYLINIDAE Latreille, 1802

OMALIINAE MacLeay, 1825

ANTHOPHAGINI Thomson, C.G., 1859

Olophrum Erichson, 1839

This is a mostly northern European species; it is very local and generally rare in the south from the Pyrenees to northern Italy and Romania, locally common across northern France, Holland and Germany, and more generally common across the south of Sweden and Norway and through the UK, it is very sporadic and scarce in Poland and there are a few records from Estonia and the south of Norway but it is otherwise absent from the Baltic region. Here it is locally common throughout England and Wales, less so further north to Orkney and very local and rare in Ireland. Adults occur year round, they overwinter among tussocks and litter or in the soil and are active from early in the spring until late in the year, they are abundant in the spring and autumn but might be found in numbers through the summer. Throughout the European range the species is eurytopic; in the south it occurs among leaf-litter or moss in damp and humid situations such as flood plains or alluvial forests and is often recorded from fungi on decaying trees, but further north, including the UK, it is more generally associated with dry heaths and moorland, although in some northern areas such as Sweden it occurs more generally, in mixed forests as well as wetlands and dry moorland. Adults will often be found in tussocks or among dry litter under matted heather foliage; they are easily recorded by lifting heather branches and searching under the accumulated litter or by pitfall trapping. Little is known of the life cycle but adults are known to be predatory, feeding on springtails and small insects and they may disperse by walking as the few specimens we have examined have been short-winged.

4.1-6.0mm. Broadly elongate and discontinuous in outline, with a small head and broad pronotum, entirely shiny dark brown to almost black, often with the appendages a little paler. Head finely punctured and smooth, without depressions in front of the ocelli, eyes weakly convex and continuous with the outline, temples curved and strongly converging, not produced by the hind margin of the eyes. Palps with all segments elongate, the terminal segment long and gradually narrowed to a finely rounded apex. Antennae pale at the base and gradually darkened apically, all segments narrow and elongate. Pronotum transverse (5:3) and wider than the base of the elytra, widest behind the middle and smoothly curved laterally to broadly-rounded angles, apical margin widely produced forward and basal margin almost straight, surface strongly but sparsely punctured. Elytra quadrate to slightly elongate, with rounded shoulders and only slightly dilated to almost straight apical margins, surface randomly punctured, mostly more strongly so than those on the pronotum. Abdomen usually with five tergites exposed beyond the elytra, the basal tergites with wide but not strongly raised borders, all sparsely and finely punctured and with very fine granular microsculpture. Legs long and slender, the tibiae hardly broadened from the base, finely pubescent and with small, inconspicuous apical spurs. Tarsi 5-segmented; segments 1-4 of middle and hind tarsi lobed but narrow, those of the front tarsi more strongly dilated, terminal segment of all tarsi long and gradually broadened to the apex. Claws smooth and without a distinct basal tooth.

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