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A first for Britain!

Quedius lucidulus new to Britain

I caught three specimens (2 males and a female) of this Quedius in a vane trap on a fallen beech at The Mens Sussex Wildlife Trust reserve between 18th May and 1st June 2010. For a while, I couldn’t fit these specimens to any of the 44 known British species and I started to wonder if I might be looking at a species new to Britain. And when I ran them through keys to the wider European fauna (Lohse, 1964; Coiffait, 1978) they appeared to correspond to Quedius lucidulus. I sent a specimen to Alex Williams who agreed but suggested I get another opinion. Now Derek Lott (who’s seen lucidulus in Bavaria) has confirmed it: Quedius lucidulus new to Britain!

It’s a widespread species on the continent (map here), occurring in woodland where it is usually found either in leaf-litter or by sampling dung (including of moose and badger) or fungi. Maybe targeting badger latrines and deer dung in Wealden beech woodland would be the best way to find it in Britain?

I think it’s likely to be a rare and elusive native species. It’s amazing (as Alex Williams has commented) for it to turn up only a few miles from Storrington, where Quedius specialist Horace Last lived from 1971 to 1995.

This discovery was made during a survey for the West Weald Landscape Partnership under contract to the Sussex Wildlife Trust.

Luckily, I’ve been just in time to get lucidulus added into the forthcoming RES Handbook to the Staphylininae by Derek Lott. It’s going to the publishers any day now. I’ll write up the full details for The Coleopterist.

Thanks to Graeme Lyons, Rich Howorth, Darren Mann, James Hogan, Guillaume de Rougemont, Richard Lyszkowski, Alex Williams and Derek Lott for help and information. Thanks to Tom Creedy at OUMNH for help taking this montage image.

Coiffait, H. (1978). Coléoptères staphylinides de la région Paléartique Occidentale. III. Sous-famille Staphylininae, Tribu Quediini. Sous famille Paederinae, Tribu Pinophilini. Supplément à la Nouvelle Revue d’Entomologie Tome VIII fascicule 4. Toulouse: Laboratoire de Zoologie de l’Université Paul Sabatier.
Lohse, G.A. (1964). Fam. Staphylinidae I (Micropeplinae bis Tachyporinae). Pp. 7 – 247 in Freude, H., Harde, K.W. and Lohse, G.A. (eds). Die Käfer Mitteleuropas, Band 4. Krefeld: Goecke & Evers.