Rhyzobius litura (Fabricius, 1787)
Widespread and generally common throughout England and lowland Wales, in the west there is a tendency towards a coastal distribution. Much more sparse and local through Scotland; there are records north to Easter Ross (NBN). Generally in rather dry habitats but they are adventitious and so may turn up in the sweep net almost anywhere. They are active early in the spring when they may be swept from emerging nettles and long grass from the previous season. Numbers then seem to increase through the summer until late autumn, although not in the sort of abundance seen in e.g. Adalia bipunctata or A.decempunctata. During hot weather they are commonly found under debris or among leaf litter in shady places and, notwithstanding the species preference for dry conditions, in numbers among the reed beds at Radlett road and riparian vegetation on Common moor. Adults hibernate near ground level; they were found in several Watford town centre gardens throughout the winter of 2006/2007, mostly under wood or soil at the base of brickwork, and from grass tussocks throughout the Watford area.

2.0-2.5mm. (Pope, 1953) 2.5-3mm (Fursch, 1967). Elongate oval and convex, entirely testaceous but for dark eyes and various dark elytral marks. Entire upper surface shiny and clothed with recumbent fine and pale pubescence. Antennae longer than width across head (typically 6:5), basal segment dilated, second less so, 3-8 elongate, third very much so, club three segmented; apical margin of tenth and eleventh segments obliquely truncate. Terminal segment of maxillary palps dilated, almost triangular. Eyes coarsely faceted, convex and protruding. Head finely punctured, the density of this varies between specimens. Pronotum broadest at base and evenly narrowing towards front angles, hind margin strongly sinuate and hind angles perpendicular. Finely bordered laterally and along base. Surface finely and sparsely punctate, often a little more so than on head. Elytra elongate, evenly curved laterally and widest about middle, side margin sinuate and finely bordered. Surface rather densely punctured with punctures of various sizes. Dark marks vary from a single subapical sutural macula to a well-developed horseshoe shaped mark composed of three distinct and confluent macula. We have a specimen with a well developed horseshoe mark as well as an extensive elongate triangular dark mark from scutellum to beyond middle, this specimen has the pronotum extensively black with only the lateral and front margins pale. Entirely testaceous specimens occur (Fursch) and there is a form with shiny black elytra (var. maurus O'Mahony (Joy)). To fully appreciate these patterns the elytra should be lifted under strong light. Hind wings usually reduced or absent. Legs testaceous, the femora and tibiae may be darkened but the tarsi (in our specimens) are always pale. Claws appendiculate

Description from 18 Watford specimens at X20

R.chrysomeloides (Herbst) is closely similar. See ID Aids

References
Pope, 1953 Handbooks Ident. Br. Insects RES Vol 5 part 7
Fursch, H 1967. Coccinellidae in Freude, Harde and Lohse. Die Kafer Mitteleuropas 7:227-278 Foecke and Evers, Krefeld


Abdomen and male genitalia (same scale)

Male genitalia

Male genitalia drawing

Elytral Patterns
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