|Author: H Krisp Link Licence|
It is a species which seems to be doing well, in recent years it has been expanding out from the south coast of England, but has a very coastal distribution in Wales
|C hyoscami distribution|
Next up was a beetle that I hadn't seen before, which caused me some confusion in reaching an id. It had key features which pointed to another Leistus species: heart shaped pronotum, exposed outer edges of the mandibles and a ventral setral cage (the setral cage is a very characteristic arrangement of stiff hairs of the lower surface of the jaws which is used in capturing its prey, usually collembola). The colour patterns (dark head and pronotum, paler elytra and pale legs) however didn't match any of the british species. After a bit of help from Steve Bolchover (gratefully received - thanks Steve!), I have concluded that it is a teneral (freshly emerged) example of Leistus ferrugineus. Teneral beetles are often much paler in colour, and as you can see from the pic below, the elytra (which are a bit squished) are still quite soft.
|L ferrugineus distribution|
It is quite common in England, but again with a marked coastal distribution in Wales.
The final carabid beetle was one of the smallest british species, Microlestes maurus. It is approximately the length of a sesame seed (about 2.5mm), but much narrower. Once again I have gone to Wiki Commons for a pic:
Author:Udo Schmidt, Germany
|Microlestes Maurus distribution|
This species has very few Welsh records from scattered coastal locations in Glamorgan, Gwent and Gwynedd. Once again they are all coastal sites!
It would be interesting to know whether its diminutive size leads to under-recording compared to other carabid species or if it is genuinely uncommon in a Welsh context.