Quedius picipes (Mannerheim, 1830)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

STAPHYLINOIDEA Latreille, 1802

STAPHYLINIDAE Latreille, 1802

STAPHYLININAE Latreille, 1802

STAPHYLININI Latreille, 1802

Quedius Stephens, 1829

Raphirus Stephens, 1829

This is a generally common species from lowland to low mountain altitudes throughout central and northern Europe, from northern Mediterranean areas to southern Scandinavia where it is very local and rare; in the UK it is locally common through England and Wales to southern Scotland and sporadic and scarce further north, and with the exception of The Isle of Man absent from the islands. Adults occur year-round in a range of permanently damp, but not wet, habitats e.g. among leaf litter or under logs and debris in grassland, woodland, wasteland and gardens. They are generally active from early spring with numbers peaking in late summer and autumn; breeding is thought to occur in the autumn with both adults and larvae overwintering and newly emerged adults occurring from the following spring. Adults may be found under logs etc. among damp vegetation or litter and are readily sampled by pitfall trapping in such habitats but they will often occur while searching at night as they hunt other insects etc. on pathways and low down on trunks. Through the winter they will also turn up in extraction samples of tussocks, moss and litter from likely habitats. With a little experience these medium sized and bicoloured staphs will soon become obvious in the field; the combination of large eyes, smooth scutellum and incised labrum is distinctive.

8-10mm. Head and pronotum shiny black and lacking obvious microsculpture; head elongate-oval, with large eyes that occupy at least two-thirds of the lateral margin and rounded temples, the vertex with a group of two or three punctures close to each eye, otherwise impunctate. Labrum distinctly and deeply incised. Antennae inserted anterior to the raised clypeal margin, within the outer margin of the mandibles; long and thin with all segments elongate, yellow becoming darker towards the apex. Pronotum smoothly rounded to distinct anterior angles, lateral margin bordered and disc with a series of three setiferous punctures either side of the middle in the anterior half. Scutellum black or dark red, shiny and impunctate. Elytra red or obscurely darker along the suture, entire surface densely punctured and pubescent, sutural margin raised and unpunctured. Abdomen black or with the posterior margin of each segment to some extent red; strongly iridescent, finely punctured and with rather dense pale pubescence. Legs pale; tibiae weakly broadened towards the apex and with strong spines along the external margin, tarsi weakly dilated in both sexes. Tarsi 5-segmented, basal segment of the metatarsi obviously longer than the terminal segment. Claws small, smooth and without a basal tooth. Male with the sixth and seventh abdominal sternites weakly sinuate medially.

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