Quedius lateralis (Gravenhorst, 1802)

With the exception of the west country and the northeast the latest (Sep 09) NBN map shows modern records scattered throughout England and Wales, the only modern Scottish record is from the northeast (around Moray) but the real distribution is likely to be more general; Joy gives simply 'Britain, local' while Fowler quotes a few country-wide records from England (but not the west country) as well as Scottish records: 'Widely distributed... Solway, Tweed, Forth, Clyde, Tay and Moray'. This species is common and sometimes abundant throughout our Watford area and, although not mentioned by Alexander or included in any of the various SQI(etc) listings as being associated with decaying or living timber, we feel obliged to write from experience that a typical habitat is among or around fungi on damged or decaying wood in parkland, wooded pasture or open woodland. This is a personal view and it must be added that we have also (often) found them under logs in Whippendell wood. We have recorded adults as common during September and October (each year since 2006) and they occur through the winter at least until late January. During September and October 2006, along with thousands of other rove beetles, they were abundant among decaying, soaking wet and strongly ammoniacal bracket fungi fruiting on dead Fagus roots on the borders of Westt Herts golf course. Through the winter we often find them among samples taken from damaged bark etc around hard bracket fungal fruiting bodies on various broadleaved trees (Aesculus, Fagus, Quercus etc); such samples taken from a large and decrepit Salix in Cassiobury park contained the species each year between 2006 and 2008. This association is mentioned by Fowler, 'in decaying fungi, dead leaves, old faggots etc (England)... in moss and decaying fungi(Scotland). Pitfalling in apparently suitable places eg around the base of tree trunks, has so far failed to produce the species.

11-14mm. Body entirely black or very dark with the reflexed elytral margins testaceous, this is usually visible from above at the shoulders. Head very shiny black, without obvious microsculpture (X10). Eyes occupying about half the side of the head, temples curved and gently contracted to a transverse impression before a short neck (sometimes hidden by the pronotum) and with fine black forwardly recumbent setae. Vertex with two setiferous punctures close to inner margin of eyes and two in front of basal depression, otherwise impunctate. Labrum bilobed. Palps testaceous, last segment as long as penultimate. Madibles long and curved. Antennae mounted on raised anterior margin of clypeus between outer margin of mandibles; segments 1 and 2 and sometimes base of 3 testaceous, remainder dark. Segments 1-3 elongate, 4-10 quadrate or a little elongate. Pronotum shiny black and without microsculpture (X10), evenly rounded and bordered to almost perpendicular front angles. Anterior margin not bordered. With three setiferous punctures either side of middle in anterior half, the first very near the front margin, also a few between this series and the front angles and some smaller punctures near the lateral and basal margins. Scutellum shiny and impunctate. Elytra more or less qudrate, finely and evenly punctate and pubescent, with two long setae on lateral margin behind shoulder and a few shorter ones posterior to these. Abdomen black with a strong metallic blue or bronze lustre, gently tapering and somewhat rounded laterally, margins strongly raised. Moderately densely punctured, a liyyle less so towards apex. Legs dark or a little lighter at base of tibiae and tarsi, tarsi sometimes entirely pale. Tarsi 5-5-5. Protarsi dilated in both sexes. First segment of meso and metatarsi hardly longer than last. Claws proportionately small and fine, weakly curved and with a very weak tooth at base. [Male with the seventh sternite strongly and angularly sinuate in the middle of apical margin, with a broad smooth longitudinal impression before sinuation, sixth slightly sinuate- Fowler]

Description from 5 Watford specimens at X10