|Uleiota planata (Linnaeus, 1758) Notable A|
|A common species throughout Europe under the bark of
broadleaved and, rarely, coniferous trees. Thought to be carniverous
Joy quotes the species as very rare under Fir bark, London and Cumberland, and considers it to be 'probably always an importation'. Fowler also quotes it as very rare, from Putney and Blackheath, under dead Beech bark and states that the larvae are carniverous, preying on Tomicus. The larvae are described and figured by Perris ¹ and said to to be similar to Dendrophagus (Silvanidae)
At Radlett road, Watford about 10 specimens were found together under dead but close fitting Salix bark, the logs in question had been felled for about ten months and , at the time of felling, had been more or less healthy. Dozens of logs were present and all around was a thick bed of wood chippings, the type made by a chainsaw. Only one pile of logs was examined so it is likely that more specimens were present in the several other piles along this stretch of the river Colne. When exposed the beetles move very fast and, when running, make sudden changes in direction making them very difficult to capture. Taking more bark from the same logs a month later revealed no beetles.
4.5-5.5mm. Antennae filiform with first segment very long, second short, finely punctate and pubescent throughout. Insertion hidden by anterior clypeal projection. Head characteristically sculptured and densely punctured. Mandibles broad, appendiculate with sickle-like productions on outer side, much stronger in male. Thorax with longitudinal ridges flanking middle, strongly and closely punctured, dull. Sides strongly dentate, front angles projecting. Elytra finely pubescent, with strongly punctate striae, strongly deflexed laterally at fifth interstice. Sides narrowly explanate and dentate to about 4/5 from base. Whole insect flattened, best appreciated from side. Black or dark grey, appendages, front of head and elytral margins light brown.
¹ Perris, Ann. Fr., 1853, page 621, pl. 19, fig. 127
Description from 2 Watford specimens at X20