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Oxytelus fulvipes Erichson, 1839







POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

STAPHYLINOIDEA Latreille, 1802

STAPHYLINIDAE Latreille, 1802

OXYTELINAE Fleming, 1821

OXYTELINI Fleming, 1821

Oxytelus Gravenhorst, 1802

This is a mostly central and northern European species which extends east into parts of Western Russia; it occurs sporadically from France and Italy to Ukraine in the south, and north to the UK and the Baltic countries where it reaches into Southern Finland and Northern provinces of Sweden and Norway. Through most of this range it is very local and generally scarce, but it becomes less so in the north and may be locally common in e.g. the Netherlands and parts of southern Fennoscandia. In the UK it is widespread though very local across Central and eastern England north to Yorkshire and in southern Wales, otherwise very sporadic and rare with records from Anglesey and further north to Cumbria. The typical habitats are wetland margins; carr, marshes and floodplains subject to seasonal flooding, often in shaded situations, and in Sweden they also occur in damp coniferous forests. Adults are present year-round; they overwinter in tussocks or among litter and are active over a long season from March until September or October, peaking in abundance during May and June. Little is known of the biology but both larvae and adults are thought to be Saprophagous or detritivores and it is probable that breeding occurs in spring and early summer and that new generation adults appear in late summer and overwinter. Adults live among damp litter etc. and are infrequently recorded although they fly well and they occasionally swarm in the spring, and so sampling should involve pitfall trapping or sieving or taking samples of likely material for extraction.

Oxytelus fulvipes

Oxytelus fulvipes

3.5-4.8 mm. Elongate, flat and parallel-sided, head usually broader and more robust in males. Entirely shiny black or with the elytra slightly paler, antennae dark with segments 1-4 pale yellowish, legs entirely yellow. Head transverse, uneven and strongly punctured between small and convex eyes and broadly rounded temples, clypeus produced in front of the eyes, rounded anteriorly and shiny, with only weak cellular microsculpture. Terminal maxillary palpomere about as long as the penultimate segment but much narrower and tapered to a point. Antennomeres 5-11 duller and more densely pubescent than segments 1-4, basal segment almost cylindrical; not expanded or constricted near the apex, and segments 8-10 not transverse. Pronotum transverse, broadest in front of the middle and curved to projecting anterior angles and widely-obtuse posterior angles, lateral margins crenulate, surface strongly punctured and uneven; with a shorter longitudinal impression either side of a median longitudinal furrow. Scutellum flat and diamond-shaped, often substantially concealed by the pronotal base. Elytra transverse; weakly dilated from rounded shoulders to recurved apical margins, surface coarsely punctured, weakly longitudinally striate and with sparse and very short pubescence. Abdomen long and slightly broadened from the base, tergites strongly bordered and with a basal impression angled back towards the lateral margin, surface with strong cellular microsculpture. Front tibiae externally with a single row of fine spines towards the apex.  Tarsi 3-segmented with the first segment slightly longer than the second and the last segment at least as long as the others combined.

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