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Scaphidiinae, Piestinae and Oxytelinae

To identify species in these subfamilies, the RES Handbook (Lott, 2009b) should contain almost all you need but this page offers some supplementary information.


I have found the illustrations of Carpelimus by Gil’denkov (2001) to be very useful. They deserve to be more widely seen and used so here’s a document covering the British and Irish species (updated 9th March 2010 to mention C. alutaceus): Carpelimus illustrations from Gil’denkov.

In addition, I offer some more detailed notes on separation of the Carpelimus incongruus and C. zealandicus species pair, drafted by myself with help from Richard Lyszkowski. Download PDF here.

The first British record of Carpelimus alutaceus (Fauvel) was published by Lott (2009a; 2009b): a single male found in 1990 on the banks of the River Soar, near Loughborough (SK52), Leicestershire. It can be identified from the keys in Lohse (1964) but is not illustrated there or in Gil’denkov (2001).

Lott (2011)  gives further information about four species (bilineatus, erichsoni, similis and rivularis) which are placed in subgenus Paratrogophloeus. There are photos of the aedeagi.


The “undescribed species near Anotylus complanatus” has now been described as Anotylus hammondi Schülke (2009). The identification of this species was covered by Lott (2009b) in the RES Handbook but Lott (2011) gives more information including figures of the aedeagi.


Lott (2011) introduces a very unfortunate name change. The Bledius limicola of the RES Handbook should now be known as B. spectabilis. The species called B. spectabilis in the Handbook should now be called B. frisius. To distinguish up-to-date usage of “B. spectabilis” from out-of-date usage, Derek suggests that the formula “B. spectabilis Kraatz (= B. limicola Tottenham)” should be used to avoid confusion.

Bledius tricornis and Bledius spectabilis (= limicola): Derek has found it difficult to separate this pair using the traditional characters described in the literature, and recommends that someone should look into this, if only to improve his key. Lott (2011) mentions a new character, that the aedeagus is more expanded at the apex in B. tricornis compared to B. spectabilis (= limicola).

Bledius gallicus: Derek has said: “The form with red elytra has a different distribution from the typical form. Sharp (1911) is probably right in suggesting that they are separate species, but I could not find consistent differences in the aedeagi (Lott, 2008). Sharp used the name laetior Mulsant & Rey for the form with red elytra, but there may be two older names available: erythropterus Kraatz and alpestris Heer. There is an opportunity here for someone to make a name for themselves by splitting these two taxa. In the meantime, it would be sensible to record the two forms separately.”


Lohse, G.A. (1964). Fam.: Staphylinidae I (Micropeplinae bis Tachyporinae). In: Freude, H., Harde, K.W. and Lohse, G.A. (eds) Die Käfer Mitteleuropas, band 4. Krefeld: Goecke & Evers.

Lott, D.A. (2008). The aedeagi of the British and Irish species of Bledius Leach (Col., Staphylinidae) occurring on riverbanks. The Coleopterist, 17, 161 – 189.

Lott, D.A. (2009a). Rare beetles from the Lower Soar valley in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. British journal of entomology and natural history, 22, 217 – 233.

Lott, D.A. (2009b). The Staphylinidae (rove beetles) of Britain and Ireland. Part 5: Scaphidiinae, Piestinae, Oxytelinae. Handbooks for the identification of British insects, vol. 12, part 5. St Albans: Royal Entomological Society.

Lott, D.A. (2011). Some recent developments affecting the British list of Oxytelinae (Staphylinidae). The Coleopterist, 20, 23 – 30.

Sharp, D. (1911). Bledius fracticornis and its British allies. Entomologist’s monthly Magazine, 47, 57 – 59.

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