Tachinus laticollis Gravenhorst, 1802
A widespread Palaearctic species know from most of Europe and Asia Minor and extending east through Russia and Kazakhstan to Mongolia and Eastern Siberia; it is generally common throughout Europe from lowlands to the tree-line in mountain regions, although more so in the north where it reaches the northernmost parts of Fennoscandia, also known from many Mediterranean islands but absent from North Africa. The species is generally common throughout England and Wales, and more local in Northern Ireland and Scotland including the Western Isles and Orkney. Both adults and larvae are predators of other small insects etc. and may be found in any moderately damp situation where prey are common; among moss or leaf-litter, compost, decaying straw and fungi, carrion and old mammal nests etc., and adults may be common in dung that has started to dry out, especially in open wooded situations (we have often found them in horse droppings on bridleways through local woodland during the summer), less often on dung pasture. Adults are present year-round; they overwinter in a wide variety of sheltered situations and are active from March until October, peaking in abundance from May until July or later in colder northern latitudes. They fly well and are mostly nocturnal but are easy enough to sample by searching under logs etc., or by sieving or extracting samples of likely host material; they are often common in decaying terrestrial fungi in the autumn, and on warm spring and summer nights they occasionally visit sap runs.
Tachinus laticollis 1
Tachinus laticollis 2
3.5-5.5 mm. Elongate and broadly-oval, glabrous, shiny black with the pronotal and elytral margins and apical margins of the abdominal tergites gradually and sometimes vaguely reddish-brown, palps brown, antennae dark, paler towards the base, legs brown. Head smooth and weakly convex between small but prominent eyes and long curved temples, anterior margin smoothly rounded from above, terminal maxillary palpomere as long as, and almost as broad as, the previous segment. Antennae inserted anteriorly beyond the outer margin of the mandibles; 11-segmented and only slightly broadened towards the apex. Pronotum transverse; almost 2X wider than long and distinctly wider than the elytra, broadest behind the middle and curved to rounded posterior angles and projecting and rounded anterior angles, lateral margin finely bordered, surface finely punctured and with very fine reticulate microsculpture. Mesosternum without a median keel. Elytra transverse and about 1.5X longer than the elytra, almost parallel-sided from sloping shoulders to recurved apical margins, surface without striae, smooth, shiny, finely punctured ( but more strongly so than the pronotum)and without microsculpture. Elytra tapering from the base, tergites finely and densely punctured; the first four and the base of fifth visible tergites strongly bordered, fifth (visible) tergite with several long and stiff setae. Sixth visible tergite in female distinctive. Front tibiae with fine lateral setae and not strongly broadened towards the apex, middle and hind tibiae with strong lateral setae and only weakly broadened from the base. Tarsi with five simple segments except basal segments of male front tarsi broadened.