Saturday, 27 February 2016

Key to the British species of Malachiidae (Coleoptera) published

Uploaded a key to the British species of the malachite beetles (Malachiidae) today, translated from the German and made specific to the British fauna.  It is published here:  There are a few very common species in this family but many rare ones.  Most of the species are illustrated but if you have a photograph of any that are missing and are happy for me to include them then please let me know.  If you use the key please let me know if you have suggestions for improvements or if you find anything that doesn't work properly etc. Contact me on (obviously the AT is an @)

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Keys to Cantharidae and Ptiliidae

I've recently improved the keys to Cantharidae and posted them on the website at Using these you should be able to have a go at identifying any British species in the male sex. The species of one of the genera (Malthodes) are very similar but have very good characters in males.  

I have also made adjustments to the key to Chrysomelinae to accommodate Paropsisterna selmani - a pest of Eucalyptus which has fairly recently been found in Great Britain.

The members of family Ptiliidae are mostly very small and include our smallest species, the recently discovered Baranowskiella ehnstromi.  The key posted at should allow you to get some way with identification but you will certainly need a good microscope with good lighting.  Happy identifying and do let me know how you get on - positive or negative points.  

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Staphylinidae workshop

Went today to Dinton Pastures to study Staphylinidae with like-minded coleopterists and general entomologists wanting to get to grips with a challenging group.  Studying specimens and comments made in the introduction to the day have resulted in a couple of amendments to the Staphylinidae keys on the website which are indicated by today's date. 

Peter Hodge kindly drew my attention to an error in the Cryptocephalinae key (Chrysomelidae) in that I had illustrated a couplet 8 under Cryptocephalus showing colour forms that only occurred on the continent.  This has now been amended with a new version published and illustrations of the male aedeagus included which are an important feature in separating Cryptocephalus bipunctatus and C. biguttatus

At the meeting I found that a number of people were using the keys on the website so I made requests for feedback of the kind and quality that Peter offered.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Ormyridae (Chalcidoidea, Hymenoptera) and Histeridae (Coleoptera)

Ormyridae (Chalcidoidea, Hymenoptera)

Having discovered a paper written by Zerova & Seryogina (2005) entitled Review of Palearctic Ormyridae (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea) with description of two new species I decided to produce an illustrated key just for our four species.  Having done this I sought the permission of one of the authors (M.D.Zarova) to publish this on my website and she was happy for me to do so.  So if you have some specimens of this family do have a go with the key, published at

Histeridae (Coleoptera)

While checking the identification of some other beetles for a research project in Ireland I had a bit of time left so looked over the specimens of Histeridae curated by the Hampshire Cultural Trust's entomology department at Winchester.  This resulted in my being able to clarify some of the couplets in the Histeridae key so this has been updated.