Scaphisoma boleti (Panzer, 1793)
This is a widespread and locally common species throughout central Europe from France to the Caucasus and the Russian border and from various northern Mediterranean areas north to the UK and central Scandinavia; here it is locally common across England and Wales but generally very local and rare further north to the Scottish Highlands. Adults occur year-round and are associated with fungi in damaged and decaying deciduous trees and fallen timber in woodland and wooded parkland etc, they are generally nocturnal but may also be encountered active on the surface of logs and stumps on hot sunny days, often in association with the generally more common S. agaricinum. They are probably generalist fungivores as adults have been recorded from a wide range of fruiting bodies e.g. Piptoporus betulinus (Bull: Fr.), Fomitopsis pinicola (J. Sowerby:Fr.) and Bjerkandera adusta (Willd.:Fr.), they have been recorded from flight-interception traps situated in woodland and we have recorded them from extraction samples of decaying heartwood from Quercus and Fagus. Searching low down on trunks and logs or among brackets at night is the best way to record them but they will need to be looked for carefully as they run rapidly and vanish into crevices when disturbed by light, and they will need to be taken for examination as determination is very difficult under these circumstances.
Although tiny these beetles are very distinctive and should not be confused with any other UK genus, the present species is distinct from the common S. agaricinum in being predominantly pale brown rather than black and having the sutural elytral stria continued around the base of the elytra for about a third of the pronotal width. 1.7-2.1mm. Body and appendages brown, the antennae generally paler at the base and the elytra evenly coloured; not paler apically. Broadly oval and convex, dorsal surface very finely punctured and somewhat shiny; head and pronotum smooth and lacking structure, elytra more strongly punctured than the head and pronotum, with a well-impressed sutural stria but otherwise smooth. Elytral apex truncate, exposing the last abdominal tergite which in most specimens is contrastingly pale yellow. Appendages long and slender; antennal club 5-segmented and narrow, each segment weakly expanded along the inner margin, femora without teeth, tibiae long and more or less straight, each with 2 tiny spurs on the inner apical margin, tarsi 5-segmented, all segments elongate and narrow.