Species and family descriptions
These pages attempt to provide some basic knowledge of the species featured. We make no apology for covering well worked ground because we want the site to be of use to beginners as well as experienced coleopterists. Families are introduced with a brief description allowing the user to place a specimen with confidence, we have tried to keep these simple and to this end our series of featured species are pictured. Within these descriptions links are included enabling closely similar families to be separated. Of course this is no substitute for a comprehensive key but we hope that by going through these series others will be able to place the great majority of frequently encountered species. Our pictures have been chosen and presented in such a way as to allow, along with some guidance, a correct ID should the species concerned be found. A description is provided so that the important features will not be overlooked when comparing your specimen to our pictures; these descriptions have been written by taking the diagnostic features from a range of keys and with our own specimens before us i.e. none of our descriptions rely solely on the literature. Our only misgiving being that our descriptions are based purely on local material, where regional variation is known this has been noted. We can thus leave others safe in the knowledge that their specimen, so far as we know, is what we say it is rather than something closely similar.

Some similar species are best identified by having examples of both together for comparison, with some the underside may need to be examined while others (quite a few) will need to be dissected. We often use these methods and some of our more critical work is given in the ID Aids section.

Collecting for its own sake is quite rightly to be frowned upon, on the other hand a collection of correctly identified specimens becomes valuable, in the scientific sense, if the data are submitted to the various recording schemes and the specimens are preserved and, ultimately, donated to a museum. It must also be realised that the British checklist is dynamic; new species find their way into the UK and , following modern research, established species may ‘split’ into two or more species. Thus without well preserved reference material many historical records may lose much of their value. e.g. Pterostichus nigrita (PK) and Pterostichus rheaticus Heer.

Almost all the species on our website were recorded from the Watford area, however, we will feature species recorded from elsewhere, on the species page this will be indicated by a light blue banner rather than our signature gold.

All the specimens pictured on the following pages have been identified by the WCG, that is to say that from whatever source the specimens originated, unless otherwise stated, they have been verified by Mr. D.Hodges and/or Mr. D.Murray.
Aderidae
Alexiidae
Anthicidae
Anthribidae
Apionidae
Attelabidae
Biphyllidae
Bothrideridae
Buprestidae
Byrrhidae
Byturidae
Cantharidae
Carabidae
Cerambycidae
Cerylonidae
Chrysomelidae
Ciidae
Clambidae
Cleridae
Coccinellidae
Colydiidae
Corylophidae
Cryptophagidae
Cucujidae
Curculionidae
Dascillidae
Dasytidae
Dermestidae
Derodontidae
Dryophthoridae
Dryopidae
Dytiscidae
Elateridae
Elmidae
Endomychidae
Erirhinidae
Erotylidae
Eucnemidae
Georissidae
Geotrupidae
Gyrinidae
Haliplidae
Helophoridae
Heteroceridae
 Family Overview
 Heterocerus fenestratus (Thunberg)
Histeridae
Hydraenidae
Hydrophilidae
Hygrobiidae
Kateretidae
Laemophloeidae
Lampyridae
Latridiidae
Leiodidae
Lucanidae
Lycidae
Lymexylidae
Malachiidae
megalopodidae
Melandryidae
Monotomidae
Mordellidae
Mycetophagidae
Nanophyidae
Nitidulidae
Noteridae
Oedemeridae
Orsodacnidae
Phalacridae
Platypodidae
Ptinidae
Pyrochroidae
Raymondionymidae
Rhynchitidae
Salpingidae
Scarabaeidae
Scirtidae
Scraptiidae
Silphidae
Silvanidae
Sphaeriusidae
Staphylinidae
Tenebrionidae
Tetratomidae
Throscidae
Trogidae