9 to 14mm. Blackish overall but with red elytra. The legs and antennae are also red. The pronotum may be dark red, particularly towards the margins. The abdominal tergites have a paler terminal band that becomes wider and more obvious on the final segments.The elytra and elongate and broadly parallel, expanding slightly towards the base, and covered in long pubescence.
Easily distinguished within the genus as the other four species are much smaller (<7mm) and lack the red elytra. However there are many other staphylinid species that are broadly similar so it is generally necessary to key the specimen unless a high quality photo is available.
Can be found under moss and in leaf litter often in wooded areas, but also around ponds and under logs.
All year, most active in May.
Common and widespread in much of England and Wales, less records from further north.
Common in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 127 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
Enter a town or village to see local records
Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015