Quedius lateralis (Gravenhorst, 1802)
A widespread and locally common species throughout Europe from Italy north to Scandinavia and the U.K.; with the exception of the West Country it is generally common throughout England and Wales and there are records scattered further north to the Scottish Highlands. The typical habitat is broadleaf and coniferous woodland and parkland etc. where there is a supply of fallen and decaying wood and accumulated leaf-litter. Adults occasionally occur in summer under decaying logs or among litter but this is primarily a cold weather species; new generation adults appear from August or September and peak numbers occur in October and November, they remain active through the winter but are seldom seen after March or April. Both adults and larvae are predatory, feeding upon larvae and molluscs etc., and the larvae develop through the winter. Adults may be found in woodland generally, under stones and decaying logs or bark or among litter around the base of decaying trunks, and they often occur in numbers in horse dung on bridle paths through wooded areas, they have also been recorded from badger setts and they are attracted to decaying fungi and will occur here in numbers through the winter. Large blackened and wet decaying fruiting bodies of bracket fungi on the ground and at the base of trees will generally produce adults through to March or April, pitfall trapping and extraction of nearby soil and litter may also be successful. The pale reflexed elytral margin is a good character to the species and easily appreciated in the field.
11-14mm entirely shiny black but for a few basal antennomeres, the palps and elytral margins. Head smooth, without obvious microsculpture (X10), eyes occupying at least half the lateral margin and temples constricted to a transverse impression across the neck. Vertex with two setiferous punctures close to each eye and two anterior to the basal depression. Labrum deeply bilobed, the mandibles are long and curved, and the penultimate palpomeres is as long as the terminal segment. Antennae inserted on the raised margin of
Quedius lateralis ♂
Quedius lateralis ♀
the clypeus between the outer margins of the mandibles; segments 1-3 elongate, 4-10 quadrate to slightly elongate. Pronotum shiny and without obvious microsculpture (X10), curved laterally to distinct anterior angles, generally with three setiferous punctures either side of the middle in the anterior half although often there are one or more extra punctures on one or both sides. Scutellum shiny and unpunctured. Elytra more or less quadrate, finely and evenly punctured and pubescent and distinctly less shiny than the pronotum due to dense microsculpture; laterally with two long setae behind the shoulders and several smaller ones near the middle. Abdomen black with a strong metallic blue or green lustre, curved and tapering laterally and with strongly raised margins. Pro-tarsi strongly dilated in both sexes. Claws small, weakly curved and with a small tooth at the base.