Notiophilus palustris Curtis, 1829

Det. WCG Kindly Verified by Dr.M.Luff
A common though rather local species throughout England, Wales and Scotland, becoming less frequent at higher altitudes. Although Notiophilus spp. in general prefer open, dry habitats, palustris is to be found in more shaded and moist situations; we have found them to be active on hot days among dense riparian vegetation on Common moor and among reed litter by Radlett road. They may also be found during the summer under Crataegus shaded debris along the eastern border of Common moor, always in moist situations. Also occurs among dense vegetation on moist open soil on open country (Lindroth) and is said to often coexist with N.germinyi Fauvel (Luff) although we have yet to record this species from Watford. It is likely that palustris is a local species around Watford as much sampling has been carried out in apparently suitable situations e.g. among vegetation around the margins of watercress beds and drainage channels below Cassiobury park and along the river Colne margins in Oxhey park without success. The species breeds in the spring with larvae developing through the summer (Luff)

5-6mm. Care must be taken to separate this species from germinyi. Very shiny and entirely dark metallic but for rufous tibiae and at least the underside of 3 or 4 basal antennal segments. Eyes very large, head wider than pronotum. Frontal furrows diverging anteriorly (parallel in germinyi), these vary widely in the extent and strength of metallic colouration. Head with a narrow unpunctured area at base, this is strongly microgranulate and about as wide as the distance between the bases of the frontal furrows, in germinyi this unpunctured area extends laterally to the level of the posterior supra-orbital puncture. Pronotum broadly transverse and strongly punctate around margins. Scutellum large and microsculptured. Elytra without pale subapical macula, with three foveate punctures behind a strong basal border, another medially within the fourth interstice and two subapically. Striae strongly punctate to behind middle, becoming evanescent apically, the sutural striae is well impressed to apex but usually impunctate in apical third, the seventh is present as a raised carina subapically, outside this there are two foveate punctures. Second interval about as wide as third and fourth combined. All intervals smooth and shining, in germinyi the outer intervals are microreticulate and dull.

Description from 2 Watford specimens at X20

See ID Aids for Key to all British Notiophilus