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Platydracus stercorarius

Platydracus stercorarius is a striking rove beetle. Measuring 14 to 18 mm it is one of the bigger species. The head and the neck shields are black. The legs and the shields are strikingly reddish brown. The abdomen is covered in small silky hairs. The basic colour is black, but there are silvry white bands and spots. The bands and spots are very variable. Some specimens are covered in a zebra crossing, while others merely have a few small white lines or just a few silvry spots. Platydracus stercorarius is very common in Central and Northern Europe, including all of the British Isles. There is a very similar species: Staphylinus caesareus. It does not have silvry white hairs, but golden yellow ones and it is bigger measuring 20 to 26 mm. This is a species of Central and Southern Europe. In Britain it is not as common as Platydracus stercorarius.

Both the larvae and the adult beetles eat insectlarvae. They prefer the larvae of flies, including those living in dung. Adult beetles are seen from May, but in August they are most numerous. All are gone by the end of September. Platydracus stercorarius prefers sandy soils.