Scaphium immaculatum (Olivier, 1790)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

STAPHYLINOIDEA Latreille, 1802

STAPHYLINIDAE Latreille, 1802

SCAPHIDIINAE Latreille, 1806

SCAPHIINI Achard, 1924

Scaphium Kirby, 1837 

This generally rare and local species is rather patchily distributed in western, central and southern Europe; it occurs from France to Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and western Russia, and around much of the Mediterranean; France to Italy, through the Balkans to Greece and across North Africa to Israel. Here the occurrence has been very sporadic and all records have been from the Kent coast; there were several records between 1918 and 1936 and then nothing until 2009 when it was found among marram grass in sand dunes, and then again in 2012 when it was found among garden refuse, all records being from the same general location. On the continent it is a thermophilous species usually occurring among moss, litter and fungi in wooded habitats, although they also occur on sand dunes in Holland, and many records are from pitfall trapping in such situations. The species is thought to develop within fruiting bodies of various Agaricales. Adults have been recorded from February to May, and September.

The large size, entirely dark body and general habitus are distinctive among our UK fauna. 4.5-6.0mm. Head weakly convex and finely punctured, with rather flat eyes that are continuous with the outline, long cheeks and clypeus produced between the antennal insertions. Antennomeres 1-6 elongate and glabrous, 7-10 near quadrate and 11 pointed, forming a narrow and loose, pubescent club. Pronotum transverse and broadest at rounded posterior angles, lateral margin sinuate and narrowed to a smoothly rounded anterior margin. Surface evenly convex and without sculpture; finely and diffusely punctured, and with a random series of much larger punctures anterior to the strongly sinuate basal margin. Scutellum triangular, small and shiny. Elytra continuous in outline with the pronotum, evenly curved to truncate apical margin which leaves the pygidium and at least part of the previous segment exposed, surface finely punctured and somewhat dull, each with 7 rows of stronger punctures which variously fade towards the base and apex; sutural row continued along the basal margin, adjacent to the suture in a deep furrow. Appendages dark brown to black with basal antennomeres, tibiae and tarsi variously reddish.  Legs long and slender, tibiae with longitudinal series of spines which are not separated by ridges, as seen in Scaphisoma, tarsi 5-segmented with smooth and well-developed claws.

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