Amara similata (Gyllenhal, 1810)

Widespread and common throughout Engalnd and Wales including the Isles of Wight, Anglesey and Man although it may be interesting that there are (apparently) no records from Scilly, a location where the closely similar A.ovata is well recorded. North on Lancashire records are more scattered and from Scotland only a few from the south and southeast and a single, remote, record from the nortern coast. The only island records are from Tiree (Ebodes). Typical habitats are open and dry situations eg arable land, parkland, wasteland and gardens, the species is common throughout our Watford area and we have recorded it as so each year since 2006 although in general it seems not so common as A.ovata. They occur in pitfall traps in many situations and we have also found them under logs and among deep moss on log piles around the borders of Whippendell wood. Probably the easiest way to record them, and certainly the most interesting as they usually occur alongside a whole range of other carabids, is at night by torchlight on parkland pathways etc. and more especially in the spring when the species breeds. With the exception of February we have recorded them each month between December and August.
Very similar to A.ovata with which it may occur.

8-9.5mm (Luff, 2007). Body entirely shiny black or with elytra a little duller than head and pronotum, with a strong metallic reflection; generally brassy or blue but this varies. Head smooth and shiny, impunctate (X20) and with very weakly impressed frontal furrow, with two setiferous punctures beside convex and weakly protruding eyes. Palps dark with apex of segments variously lighter. Antennae black with segments 1-3 and at least the base (often more) of 4 pale yellow and strongly contrasting. Lateral margin of pronotum evenly curved in anterior half, almost straight behind this. Front angles rounded and protruding, hind angles perpendicular or slightly obtuse, hind margin weakly sinuate inside hind angles. Basal fovea weak; outer almost obliterated and poorly delimited, the inner finely punctate, at least towards edges (X20). Seta inside hind angles close to lateral margin; separated by about a pore's width 1. Scutellar stria with apore at base (IDAids). All striae fine towards base and becoming much deeper towards apex, interstices flat towards base and becoming convex in apical third, very strongly so towards apex. Femora dark brown to black, tibiae dark to plae brown but lighter than femora. Front tibiae deeply notched inside before apex, apical spur simple (ie not trifid cf A.plebeja). Male with three basal pro-tarsal segments dilated.

See ID Aids for a discussion of the differences between this species and A.similata.

Description from 2 Watford species at X20

1 In species where this is widely separated from the edge the distance is three or four times the pore diameter.