Brachypterus glaber (Stephens, 1832)
Widely distributed and common throughout the British Isles although there is some doubt about its occurence in Scotland (Kirk-Spriggs). Occurs on nettles upon which the adults and larvae feed, often in company with B.urticae. From the Watford area we have records from the Cassiobury park/Whippendell wood area where it is common. During 2006 and 2007 the first adults were from early June, swept from nettles. They soon become common on nettles as well as a wide variety of flowers, more especially umbels. On 17 June 2007 several were found in Cabbage traps in Cassiobury park. Although seemingly not so widespread as B.urticae they are are certainly as common where found. During July and August they are often found in small numbers among large populations of Meligithes aeneus (Fab.) on umbel flowers in Whippendell wood.

1.8-2mm. Black. Head strongly rugose and dull, in contrast to the pronotum. Labrum smooth and shining. Pronotal base almost straight (Brachypterolus), hind angles rounded with a short lateral sinuation towards base, sides rounded in front of this (B.urticae), the specimen needs to be manipulated to appreciate this. Distinctly bordered laterally, very finely so basally. Randomly punctate, cuticle smooth and shining(X40). Elytra punctured and shining as pronotum, side margins visible towards base from above, with fine shoulder tooth. Pronotum and elytra with fine recumbent silver pubescence. First visible sternite produced backwards laterally. Legs and antennae black or very dark brown. Basal tarsal segments bilobed, claws with strong tooth at base (Kateretes), this must be carefully looked for (X50).

The only confusion that might occur is with B.urticae but they are distinct (X20). B.glaber is on average larger, black without any metallic reflection, has dark brown appendages and rugose clypeus.

Description from 4 Watford specimens at X40


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