Mycetophagus quadripustulatus (Linnaeus, 1751)

Female
Widespread and common throughout England north to mid Yorkshire and with scattered records from Scotland. Associated with fungus on which the larvae feed. During spring and early summer adults may be found in large numbers in bracket fungi (esp. Polyporus squamosus) or under the bark around the fruiting bodies. Where the fungi is on the trunk at ground level the beetles can be found in the earth beneath the bracket. During the hotter months when fruiting bodies are scarce adults can be found among mycelia under bark, usually in small numbers. We have yet to find them in autumn fungi, which is usually infested with various coleoptera, but occasionally specimens turn up in fungi samples from Jan-March. Adults are usually found with other beetles, in our experience commonly with Triplax spp., Dacne spp. and Tetratoma fungorum Fab. In one large polypore in Cassiobury park (June 2007) around a hundred M.quadripustulatus were present along with about the same number of Triplax aenea (schal.) and a few Triplax russica (L.). Common throughout Watford whenever its host is present. During May 2008 several adults were found on the surface of laetiporus sulphureus in Cassiobury park.

5-6mm. Antennae brown with segments 6-10 black, thickened from segment 7, widely spaced and inserted under side of head in front of eyes. Head red, coarsely punctate from posterior margin of eyes forward, broadest at eyes. Mandibles bifid. Thorax distinctly bordered, without explanate margins and with well developed basal fovea, no other sculpture, lines or tubercles present. Hind margin strongly sinuate. Scutellum large and punctate. Elytra finely bordered with well marked and distinctly punctured striae, usually completely covering abdomen. Entire upper surface with fine recumbent yellow pubescence, obvious when manipulating the insect under strong light (X20). Legs light brown, tibiae with two distinct apical spurs on inner side. Tarsi 4-4-4 in female, 3-4-4 in male. Basal segment of male protarsi weakly lobed below.

Description from 6 Watford specimens at X20


Female

Male

Female

Male

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