Coccidula rufa (Herbst, 1783)
Locally common across England and Wales and with scattered records from Scotland to the northern Highlands. Associated with rushes (Juncus spp.) and reeds (e.g. Phragmites australis, Typha latifolia)( Majerus and Kearns) but by no means restricted to these; sweeping waterside vegetation during hot weather may produce them in apparently unlikely situations. They occur by all our local rivers and ponds, generally in small numbers and sporadically but the reedmace beds in Radlett road have occasionally produced large numbers. Adults appear towards the end of April (2006, 2007) and soon become common, during July or August they are adventitious and occur away from water e.g. sweeping long grass on Common moor may produce them. Specimens are occasionally found on the sedges and rushes in the town centre pond. We have yet to find them among pondside vegetation samples during the winter.

A distinctive species soon recognised in the field with a lens, the only confusion might be with Rhizobius or C.scutellata. Entire upper surface orange but for antennal apices and dark marks to elytra.

2.5-3.5mm. Antennae longer than width of head, segments of club obliquely truncate. Inserted on side of head in front of eyes, insertions clearly visible from in front. Mandibles bifid (cf. Subcoccinella, also pubescent). Pronotum bordered laterally and basally, without impressions and broadest in front of middle (cf. Rhizobius). Elytra elongate and almost parallel sided when viewed from above, with larger punctures forming indistinct striae, especiallytowards base. Entirely orange or with black marks typically around scutellum and suture but sometimes more extensive e.g. the larger punctures are often darkened (C.scutellata). Entire upper surface finely punctate with distinct semi-erect yellowish pubescence.

Description from 2 Watford specimens at X20


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