Aphodius sticticus (Panzer, 1798)
A locally common species across southern England becoming scarcer further north to Yorkshire. In various types of dung; in our experience from cattle dung on Common moor to horse dung in Whippendell wood. Appears during the first or second week of April (locally) in small numbers, when the density of A.prodromus and A.sphacelatus are at their highest. Over the next couple of weeks numbers increase rapidly to a peak at the end of April, this generally follows a decline in the numbers of A.prodromus and A.sphacelatus. All three species are usually found together, along with others (A.ater, A.pusillus and A.fimetarius). Numbers decrease during June and July, depending on season, reappearing in August again usually among large populations of other species e.g. A.rupifes or A.fossor . Jessop quotes sheltered places and this is the case in Whippendell wood but the opposite on Common moor. Britton states that sandy places are a preferred habitat, this applies to parts of the moor but in our experience the species is less exacting in its requirements. Also found in winter flood refuse.

4-5.5mm. Head in front of eyes hardly projecting, smoothly rounded, with a broad red mark laterally to sides of front margin. Clypeus without setae, finely punctured and densely microsculptured so appearing dull, with much smaller punctures and shining basally. Clypeal front margin black. Pronotum finely bordered laterally and basally, finely punctured throughout and with much larger punctures towards sides and base. Black, with sides and front angles broadly yellow, often with distinct pattern in basal half. Hind margin yellow but this may be interrupted medially, sometimes broadly so. Elytra glabrous, yellow, with characteristic markings but these may be diffuse and indistinct. Scutellum equilateral or nearly so. Legs yellow. Male with 3 tubercles on clypeus and pronotal puncturation fine.

Description from 4 Watford specimens at X20


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