Elateridae of the British Isles

Selatosomus melancholicus (Fabricius, 1798)

Size – 10-15mm.

Description – Wholly black species with a sparse covering of hairs. The elytra appear wider to the rear. The antennae are relatively long extending just beyond the pronotum.

Distribution – Added to the Irish list very recently from a handful of records (Speight, 1986).

Biology – Larvae are thought to be predatory, feeding on other Coleopteran larvae in soil and under stones. On the continent this species has been documented as favouring the larvae of Otiorhynchus monticola Germar, 1824 and Barynotus squamosus Germar, 1824 (Col.: Curculionidae) and Aphodius mixtus Villa, 1833 (Col.: Scarabaeidae). Pupation occurs in July or August. The imago emerges in June and July and and can be found under stones, flying low over the ground and resting on various species of grasses and flowers.

Habitat – Upland grasslands.