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NOTES ON THE SUFFOLK LIST OF COLEOPTERA: 2-LATHRIDIIDAE DAVID R.

NASH

The Lathridiidae form a clearly defined family, easily recognisable by their 3-segmented tarsi, small size (1-3 mm long), and elongate-oval shape. They all probably feed on moulds and are popularly known as Plaster Beetles on account of their frequent occurrence in new houses where they are associated with mould on new plaster. The various species may turn up, however, in any Situation where moulds have had an opportunity to develop e.g. under bark, in old straw, on fungi, in old damp cupboards or sheds. Some of the Corticariinae occur most frequently in moss or at the roots of plants. The Lathridiinae have been radically revised by Walkley (cited in Tozer, 1972) and the 5 species previously standing on our list under Lathridius are now assigned to other genera, whilst two of our former Enicmus species— minutus (L.) and consimilis Mannh—are transferred to Lathridius. Although I have not seen Walkley's papers which were published in a Washington journal, she was responsible for checking the Lathridiidae fascicle of Arnett (1962), and the generic key and Classification therein are plainly based on her work. Some Continental authors appear to have adopted a more traditional approach to the Classification of the family and seem unwilling to accept Walkley's proposals, involving as they do inter-generic transference of species previously thought to be correctly placed within long-established genera. This paper brings forward 10 species which, for reasons outlined below, should feature as additions to the species of Suffolk in the relevant part of the index to these Transactions. Additional data are also provided for the scarce but previously recorded E. testaceus. Unless noted in the text, the records presented for each species are, as far as I know, the first for the county and are my own unless otherwise stated. Nomenclature follows Kloet and Hincks (1977).

Lithostygnus serripennis Broun Originally described from New Zealand in 1914, this distinctive and rarely encountered species was first found in this country in a cellar at Reigate, Surrey by C. E. Stott (Stott, 1928) where it was probably developing on moulds growing on straw bottle-envelopes. Since that time, it has been recorded indoors from a few other localities in England, as well as from Scotland and Ireland (Kevan, 1945; Aubrook, 1949; Edwards, 1965). Although the species is usually found inside or very near buildings, it has recently been discovered in the open in a hollow Lime trunk in Renfrewshire (Crowson, 1962), under raked, presumably dead, weeds beside a Kent hop field (Bannister, 1971), and in dry organic matter in recesses under sandstone cliffs in Dunbartonshire (Crowson, 1971). The beetle was also found out-ofTrans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 18 part 2.


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doors by the late W. O. Steel in the grounds of the Imperial College Field Station in Berkshire (Woodroffe, 1971). Hinton (1945) provides a füll description and figure of the species, Watt (1971) discusses briefly its taxonomy and occurrence in New Zealand, and MacKechnie-Jarvis (1972) in recording it from London, provides a useful diagnostic description of the genus. I took my first Suffolk example of L. serripennis from the mouldy end of a cut log in a woodpile near farm buildings at Nettlestead, TM 0848, on 7/7/79 in Company with Dienerella ruficollis (Marsham)and other Lathridiinae discussed below. Later in the year, 1 was invited to look over the very old Sycamore Farm house at Swilland, TM 2050, which was due to be demolished and had been uninhabited and shut up forseveral months. Searching at night with the aid of a torch, I was pleased to find 4 examples of Lithostygnus around a mouldy shelf near to a recently replastered area of wall. Several specimens of the Endomychid Mycetaea hirta (Marsham) were found as well as other Lathridiids.

Aridius bifasciatus (Reitter) The first British examples of this Australian species were taken at Godstone. Surrey in 1949 but the record was not published until much later (Side, 1956). Allen found Surrey examples in 1950 and added it to our list (Allen, 1951). The species has subsequently featured without comment in several lists of Suffolk Coleoptera in these Transactions, but has not been formally recognized herein as new to the county. This lack of comment by Coleopterists without a special interest in the fauna of this county in particular is not surprising, in view of the fact that A. bifasciatus was such an amazingly successful colonist that it spread over most of the country within a couple of decades of its arrival. It must now surely rank as one of our commonest beetles, occurring in a wide ränge of natural and man-made habitats, often in abundance. Unlike most Lathridiids, which are usually more-or-less brownish or black in colour, A. bifasciatus has bicoloured elytra consisting of variable dark markings on an obscurely yellowish background. Reference to the excellent figure in Hammond (1964) should enable any reasonably competent general naturalist to quickly come to recognise this beetle, even in the field. The first published Suffolk records known to me are contained in Hammond (loc. cit.). They are for Ipswich (C. S. Barham) and Dodnash Wood (R. G. Thimann)—both undated. The latter locality is erroneously assigned by Hammond to Essex. In the interests of brevity, previous citations of bifasciatus in these Transactions are not referred to—they are easily extracted from the Indices—and only 10 km N.G. references without field data are given for records known to me. Mr. C. S. Barham has recorded it from the following squares: TM 06, 14, 23, 24,25, 28, 34,35, 38,46; TL 76, 87.1, too, have taken it in several of these Squares and can only add TM 04, 13 and TL 94. Mr. H. Mendel can add only T L 95. ' Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 18 part2.


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Male visitors to the Ipswich Museum should look out for bifasciatus on the walls of the men's washroom—I found it there in January, 1974! Lathridius Iiiiger Tozer (1972) has shown that 4 species of the genus Lathridius as defined by Walkley (vide supra) are found in this country viz. consimilis Mannh., minutus (L.), pseudominutus Strand, and anthracinus Mannh. The last two species are additions to the British list having previously been mixed with minutus in our collections. Morley's (1899) records for minutus are, therefore, unreliable. I have not attempted to determine Morley's material as dissection of old material involving such tiny beetles can be exceedingly time-consuming if it is to be done without damage to the specimens. Of the 4 species, only consimilis (an inhabitant of old deciduous woodlands) can be identified relatively easily, it being the only species without explanate anterior angles to the pronotum. The 3 remaining species are superficially very similar and great care is needed to identify them correctly. L. anthracinus can usually be separated fairly readily without dissection by the strongly ridged appearance of its elytra and by examination of the post mid-coxal depressions which have very few radiating lines when compared with minutus and pseudominutus. These last two species are difficult to separate, and all determinations should be supported by dissection of aedeagi of males and ninth tergites of males and females. I have records as follows: L. anthracinus Mannerheim: 7/10/73-2 ex., fungus on cut logs and 6/8/ 74—1 ex. in animal food barn, Cottage Farm, Lt. Blakenham, TM 1149; 14/6/75—1 ex. fungus on dead Ash, Shrubland Park, Barham, TM 1252; 7/7/79-7 ex., near mould on cut logs in woodpile, Nettlestead, TM 0848; 1/11/79—1 ex., around new plaster and mouldy shelf, old Sycamore farm house, Swilland, TM 2050. L. minutus (Linnaeus): 1/3/75—1 6 in animal food barn, Lt. Blakenham, T M 1149; 7/7/79—1 9 on mouldy cut logs, Nettlestead, TM 0848; 1/11/79—1 6 around new plaster and mouldy shelf, old Sycamore Farm house, Swilland, TM 2050. L. pseudominutus Strand: 4/11/59—Abundant on mouldy soil under rotten floor of old dismantled shed, Ipswich, TM 1845 (C. S. Barham, det. A . A . Allen); 7/7/79—1 9 on mouldy cut logs, Nettlestead, TM 0848. According to Tozer, minutus appears to have a restricted distribution in this country whilst anthracinus and pseudominutus seem widespread. In my experience, anthracinus appears to be by far the most frequently encountered species. Tozer's (1972; 1973) 10 km distribution maps, based only upon specimens she has checked, have only one 'dot' clearly assignable to Suffolk viz. anthracinus in TL 86. Other possible records are in squares split by the county boundary. Enicmus histrio Joy and Tomlin Morley and his contemporaries appear to have overlooked Fowler and Donisthorpe's (1913) record of this generally distributed species described in Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc.

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1910 and formerly mixed with the common E. transversus (01.) Fowler (loc. cit. p. 117) states that he has two specimens from 'the late W. Gurney's collection, taken by him in hay rubbish in 1859 at Bedingfield, Suffolk It would seem likely that the captor's name should read W. Garneys since he was a Coleopterist who was active around Bedingfield about the time stated. There is no label for histrio in Morley's collection so there may be specimens mixed with his transversus. I have not met with the species in Suffolk, but it was collected from litter at Staverton Thicks on 29/8/75 by R. A. Crowson (Crowson, unpublished mss. list, no date). Enicmus rugosus (Herbst) Whilst collecting at Icklingham, TL 7573, on 2/6/78 I took a Single specimen of this rare Lathridiid from near a bracket fungus on a fallen, rotten Poplar trunk. The species appears to be most frequent in the Midlands and Scotland. There are few records from southern counties, Epping Forest being probably the best-known locality. It has only recently (Allen, 1972) been found in Windsor Forest, despite well-over a C e n t u r y of work by Coleopterists in that locality.

Enicmus testaceus (Stephens) Since the addition of this species to our list (Nash, 1975), three other records have been passed on to me by Mr. Barham asfollows; 24/7/68—1 ex., bracket fungus on stump, Mildenhall, TM 7374; 12/5/71—several swept along river bank, Ufford, TM 3052; 19/7/75—1 ex., swept under poplars, Stoke-byNayland, TM 9736. This Enicmus is probably most frequently recorded from myxomycete fungi but it can obviously be taken by general sweeping after straying from its breeding site. Dienerella Reitter I have followed our current Check List in using Reitter's generic name, although in our most recent work on the genus von Peez (1967) retains the old name Cartodere of Thomson (no date given), choosing to ignore Walkley's revisions within the Lathridiinae. He was plainly aware of her work as he gives her proposed generic name Microgramme as a synonym. It is only comparatively recently that it has been established beyond doubt (Allen, 1966) that D. separanda Reit, is not a subspecies of D. elongata (C.) as suggested in the 1945 edition of Kloet and Hincks Check List, nor merely a variety or synonym as proposed by others; it is a 'good' species as maintained by T. H. Edmonds (1930) when he added it to our list. In view of this confusion, past records of elongata must be suspect until checked. Of the two species, elongata is, apparently, by far the rarer—at least in this country. I have records of both species as follows: D. elongata (Curtis). First reliably reported from Staverton Park (Welch Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc.

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and Harding, 1974); 7/10/73—3 ex., bracket fungus on log in woodpile, Cottage Farm, Lt. Blakenham, TM 1149, in Company with D. ruficollis (Mm.) D. separanda (Reitter). I have examined 5 specimens standing over the n a m e Cartodere elongata in Morley's collection. All are separanda and two taken by Morley are from Suffolk 12/5/28—Fritton; 3/12/98—no other data. R e f e r e n c e to the entry for C. elongata in Morley (1899, p. 58) sheds light on the likely origin of the second specimen. Morley states 'Rare, in bracken refuse, in Bentley Woods, December, 1898.' In Morley's terminology, 'rare' often means that only one specimen was found, and this was confirmed by examination of Morley's diary for that year. I have a Single record: 31/1/71—4 ex., under dead bark at base of live sycamore beside Bullen Park, Bramford, T M 1046. Corticaria alleni Johnson Mr. C. Johnson of Manchester Museum has recently (Johnson, 1975; 1976) established that specimens in British collections standing over the names Corticaria longicollis (Zett.), obscura Bris., and corsica Bris., represented a new species—alleni. O n 31/1/71 I took a Single female Corticaria from beneath the bark of a sycamore trunk lying on the edge of Bullen Park, Bramford, TM 1046. Subsequent examination by Mr. Johnson proved it to be his newly described species, so far only recorded from mainly old deciduous woodlands in Notts., Berks., Surrey, and Essex. Acknowledgements My sincere thanks go to the following persons: Mr. C. Johnson for the determination of C. alleni and E. rugosus; Mr. C. Barham for allowing me to include his unpublished records; Mr. H. Mendel for the loan of Morley's Cartodere spp., helping check Morley's collection and diaries, and providing his own unpublished records; Lord Blakenham for allowing me to study on his estate, and Mr. L. J. Overton for his unfailing help and kindness in assisting me whilst there; Mr. J. Digby for allowing me to search old Sycamore Farm house.

References Allen, A . A. (1951. Lathridius bifasciatus Reitt. (Col., Lathridiidae) an Australian beetle found wild in Britain. Ent. mon. Mag. 87, 114. Allen, A . A . (1966). A clarification of the status of Cartodere separanda Reitt. (Col., Lathridiidae); and C. schueppeli Reitt. new to Britain. ibid 102, 192. Allen, A . A . (1972). Enicmus rugosus Hbst. (Col., Lathridiidae) in Windsor Forest, ibid 108, 39. A r n e t t , R. H . (1962). Fascicle 100—Lathridiidae in The Beetlesofthe United Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc.

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States, 4th printing, 1973, pp. 835-838. American EntomologicalInstitute. A u b r o o k , E . W . (1949). Occurrences of Metophthalmus serripennis Broun (Col., Lathridiidae) in Britain. Ent. mon. Mag. 85, 132. Bannister, R . T. (1971). Metophthalmus serripennis Broun (Col., Lathridiidae) in Kent. ibid 107, 36. C r o w s o n , R . A . (1962). O b s e r v a t i o n on Coleoptera in Scottish O a k Woods Scottish Nat. 18,177. C r o w s o n , R . A . (1971). Some records of Coleoptera, other Insecta and A r a c h n i d a from A r d m o r e Point, Dunbartonshire. ibid 18, 547. C r o w s o n , R . A . (no date). Short unpublished mss. list of Staverton Park C o l e o p t e r a additional to Welch and Harding (op. cit.)—in the possession of T h e Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Monk's Wood. E d m o n d s , T. H . (1930). Cartodere separanda Reitt., a species of Coleoptera new to Britain. Entomologist's Ree. J. Var. 42, 148. E d w a r d s , R . (1965). Two new records for Metophthalmus serripennis ( B r o u n ) (Col., Lathridiidae). Ent. mon. Mag. 101, 115. Fowler, W. W. & D o n i s t h o r p e , H. (1913). The Coleoptera of the British Islands, vol. 6—Supplement. Lowell, Reeve and Co. Ltd. H a m m o n d , P. M. (1964). T h e Beetle Lathridius bifasciatus Reitter in Essex Essex Nat. 31, 172. H i n t o n , H . E. (1945). A Monograph of the Beetles associated with Stored Products. L o n d o n . J o h n s o n , C . (1975). Studies on the genus Corticaria Marsham (Col., Lathridiidae)—Part 1 Ann. Ent. Fenn. (1974), 40, 97. J o h n s o n , C. (1976). Synonymic and other notes on British Coleoptera Ent mon. Mag. (1975) 111,111. K e v a n , D . K. (1945). Some further records of Scottish Beetles and imported Longicornia. ibid. 81, 231. Kloet, G . S. & Hincks, W. D . (1977). /I Check List of British Insects, 2nd Edition. Part 3: Coleoptera and Strepsiptera (revised R. D. Pope). Royal Entomological Society. MacKechnie-Jarvis, C. (1972). Lithostygnus serripennis Broun (Col., Lathridiidae) and other Coleoptera in L o n d o n , N . W . l with a diagnostic note and key. Ent. mon. Mag. 108, 186. Morley, C. (1899). The Coleoptera of Suffolk. Plymouth. Nash, D . R . (1975). Enicmus testaceus (S.) (Col., Lathridiidae) apparently new to the Suffolk list with notes on some other Coleoptera associated with myxomycete fungi. Suffolk Nat. Hist. 16, 389. Nash, D . R . (1979). Corticaria alleni Johnson (Col., Lathridiidae) in Suffolk. Ent. mon. Mag. (1978) 114, 169. Nash, D . R . (1979). Enicmus rugosus (Herbst) (Col., Lathridiidae) in Suffolk. ibid (1978) 114, 146. von Peez, A . (1967). Lathridiidae in Freude, Harde, and Lohse Die Käfer Mitteleuropas vol. 7, pp. 168-190. Goecke & Evers, Krefeld. Side, K. C. (1956). Lathridius bifasciatus Reitter (Col., Lathridiidae) in Essex, K e n t and Surrey. Ent. mon. Mag. 92, 130. Stott, C. E . (1928). Occurrence of Lithostygnus serripennis Broun, a New Z e a l a n d colydiid beetle at Reigate. Ent. mon. Mag. 64, 140. Trans. Suffolk

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Tozer, E . R. (1972). O n the British species of Lathridius Herbst (Col. Lathridiidae) ibid 108, 193. Tozer, E . R. (1973). Maps omitted from above paper by eds. ibid 109, 62. W a t t , J. C. (1971). Notes on Metophthalmus and Aridius (Col., Lathridiidae) ibid 107, 171. Welch, R. C. & Harding, P. T. (1974). A preliminary list of the fauna of Staverton Park, Suffolk—Part 2, Coleoptera. Suffolk Nat. Hist. 16, 287. W o o d r o f f e , G . E. (1971). Editorial addendum to Bannister's note (vide supra) Ent. mon. Mag. 107, 36. David Ridley Nash 266 Colchester Road, Lawford, near Manningtree, Essex C O ! 1 2BU.

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 18 part2.

Notes on the Suffolk list of Coleoptera: 2 Lathridiidae  
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