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Philonthus cognatus
Philonthus cognatus

Philonthus cognatus
Philonthus cognatus, (Syn: Philontus cognatus, Philontus fuscipennis) belong to the family rove beetles in the order beetles (Coleoptera), the suborder Polyphaga, the infraorder Staphyliniformia and the superfamily Staphylinoidea. Here - in the subfamily Staphylininae (tribe: Staphylinini, sub-tribe: Philontina) they belong to the genus Philonthus. There are 75 species in Europe. Philonthus cognatus are commonly found throughout the world, especially in the Palearctic eco-zone.
Philonthus cognatus shows his wings
Philonthus cognatus shows his wings
Philonthus cognatus reach body lengths of 8-11 mm. Their elongated and partially hairy bodies are primarily black. The front section of their body has a greenish bronze shimmer. The rounded head is black with a dark green to bronze shimmer. The first segment of the antennae is yellowish in colour on the underside and black on the upper surface, while the following ten segments are entirely black. This is the most important identifying characteristic for this species.
Rove beetle - Philonthus cognatus
Rove beetle - Philonthus cognatus
The colouration of the pronotum is the same as the head. An important feature for classification within the genus are the two lines of points, which run on the left and right sides of the middle of the pronotum. Both lines consist of 4 points. The scutellum is triangular in shape and slightly brighter. The wing covers (elytres) are approximately the same length as the pronotum. Their surface is densely dimpled and has a strong metallic, olive to bronze-coloured sheen. The hind wings are well developed and large. When the beetle rests, these wings must be folded in an intricate manner to fit under the wing covers. Spreading the wings is faster. This is done with the assistance of the legs and a comb-like apparatus - located at the end of the abdomen - which is pulled along the underside of the hind wings to make them smooth. The abdomen is black and clearly segmented. Its surface can shimmer bluish to purple and can also have a metallic shine.
Due to their appearance Philonthus cognatus can be confused with both, representatives of their own genus as well as with other rove beetles. Philonthus cognatus are found almost everywhere in the humus layer of forests, fields, meadows and gardens where they often reside under moss or manure. Their great flexibility allows them access to very small holes, which would be inaccesssible to most other animals.

Philonthus (Philonthus) cognatus
German namesÄhnlicher Raubkäfer
AuthorStephens, 1832

North Europe (British Isles (United Kingdom (Great Britain (England (English Midlands (East Midlands (Leicestershire))))), Ireland), Germany (West Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia)), Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark), Fennoscandia (Finland), Baltic region (Baltic States (Estonia))), West Europe (Austria, France, Switzerland, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg)), South Europe (Italy (Italy Islands (Sicily, Sardinia), North Italy, South Italy), Iberian Peninsula (Spain)), Central Europe (Poland, Czech Republic (Moravia, Bohemia), Slovakia), Southeast Europe (Bulgaria, Greece), East Europe (Belarus)
Far East (East Asia (Japan), Southeast Asia (Malaysia))
North America
Canada, USA, Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Ecozones: Palaearctic, Nearctic

Distribution by Synonymus:
Philonthus microcephalus   Japan
CountriesAustralia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, United Kingdom
Links and ReferencesPhilonthus cognatus in
Philonthus cognatus in
Philonthus cognatus in Wikipedia (English)

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
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1. Philonthus cognatus
2. Philonthus cognatus shows his wings
3. Rove beetle - Philonthus cognatus
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Philonthus cognatus
AuthorStephens, 1832
Philonthus fuscipennis
Philonthus maculicornis
Philonthus melanopterus
Philonthus microcephalus
Staphylinus fuscipennis
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