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Psammoporus insularis Pittino, 2006






POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

SCARABAEOIDEA Latreille, 1802

SCARABAEIDAE Latreille, 1802

AEGIALIINAE Laporte, 1840

PSAMMOPORUS Thomson, C.G., 1859

Often referred to as Psammoporus (or Aegialia) sabuleti (Panzer, 1797) in older literature, UK specimens were recognized as being distinct from examination of material in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff (Pittino, 2006), and following examination of many European specimens the species is thought to be endemic to the UK. The true P. sabuleti is a very local and generally rare species of central and northern Europe, from France extending east into western Russia and Ukraine and north into Fennoscandia, across much of this range it occurs in upland and mountain areas and is associated with sandy margins of rivers and stream. The UK distribution of the current species includes coastal south Wales, England north of The Wash, southern Scotland and the northern Highlands and there are a few records from Surrey and East Sussex. It is generally sporadic and scarce although adults may appear in numbers early in the season when they are occasionally active on exposed substrates, especially around debris accumulated from changing water levels, they are usually active from April until August or a little later and typically inhabit sandy or shingle substrates on river and stream margins or in coastal situations, they may be found under decaying wood or among plant remains and may be sampled with pitfall traps.

This small scarab may be recognized among the UK fauna by the combination of a margined pronotal base and narrow and pointed metatibial spurs, some species of Aphodiinae are superficially similar e.g. Ammoecius brevis (Erichson, 1848) but the crenulate lateral margin of the pronotum of the present species is distinctive. Body entirely rather shiny black although mature males often have reddish elytra, antennae, palps and tarsi brown. Head dull and rugose, with obtusely angled lateral margins and a more or less evenly curved anterior clypeal margin. Pronotum transverse, broadest near the middle and narrowed to rounded posterior angles and produced anterior angles, basal margin finely but distinctly bordered and with a fringe of long pale setae, surface evenly convex, with large and shallow punctures. Elytra with well-impressed and strongly punctured striae complete to the apex and smooth, weakly-convex interstices. Anterior tibiae broadly dilated, with three large external teeth and a small sharp terminal spur. Middle and hind tibiae gradually broadened to truncate apices, each with several external transverse ridges and a pair of long and sharp terminal spurs; those on the middle tibiae unequal in length, on the hind tibiae subequal.

Psammoporus insularis

Psammoporus insularis

Further Reading

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