Quedius cinctus (Paykull, 1790)
POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886
STAPHYLINOIDEA Latreille, 1802
STAPHYLININAE Latreille, 1802
STAPHYLININI Latreille, 1802
Quedius Stephens, 1829
Distichalius Casey, 1915
Native to the western Palaearctic and occurring throughout Europe, except for the far north, North Africa, Caucasus and western Russia, this species is also an established adventive in North America, where it was first identified in 1971 from specimens collected in Massachusetts in 1949, and Canada where it was discovered in 2009. In Europe the distribution is rather patchy; it occurs from lowland to subalpine altitudes and is generally common but in some areas e.g. much of Poland it is local and rare, in the UK it is locally common across England and Wales although absent generally absent from the southwest, and there are only a few, mostly southern, records from Scotland. It is a widely eurytopic species occurring in all types of woodland, parkland, open grassland and waste ground etc. though in the UK it seems to be less synanthropic than on the continent where it sometimes common in domestic gardens and on disturbed ground. Adults are predatory and associated with all types of decaying organic matter; compost, leaf-litter, decaying wood and fungi etc. although not generally from dung, and may also occur in moss and tussocks in marginal areas such as agricultural borders and under hedgerows, they are strongly attracted to decaying fungi and may be quick to arrive at carrion; the first Canadian specimens were from a decaying domestic pig carcass in a woodland environment. Adults occur year-round and are active from March to November, peaking in September and October; they are active at night and may be found on pathways or among logs etc. and pitfall trapping is a good way of recording them, otherwise they may be found through the winter under logs and bark and will turn up occasionally among extraction samples of moss and fungi etc. Adults are quite distinctive due to the form of the elytra and should not be confused with other staphs.
6.5-8.5mm. Head and pronotum shiny black with very fine transverse microsculpture. Head transverse with weakly convex eyes that occupy about half the lateral margin, a fine raised line beneath each eye and a pair of punctures on the vertex beside each eye. Antennae and palps dark, antennomeres 6-10 weakly transverse. Pronotum slightly transverse and evenly rounded to blunt anterior angles, with a series of 3 setiferous punctures either side in the anterior half and various others towards the margins. Scutellum large, glabrous and microsculptured as the pronotum. Elytra quadrate or nearly so, glabrous and shiny black with the margins variously pale, sometimes extensively so, finely and sparsely punctured and with 3 rows of setiferous punctures; generally 7-10 in each, and with a series of setiferous punctures along the lateral margin. Abdomen with strongly raised lateral borders; iridescent black with the posterior margin of the segments pale. Legs dark brown, the fore-legs often extensively paler. Pro-tarsi dilated in both sexes. A rare form with entirely yellow elytra, ab. lividipennis Lokay, occurs on the continent.