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The family Kateretidae and the subfamily Meligethinae of the Nitidulidae are here dealt with in detail. The remaining subfamilies of the Nitidulidae are briefly discussed. The validity of former British keys to the Nitidulidae is reviewed.
A check-list of the British Kateretidae and Nitidulidae as a whole is given, including any synonyms that have appeared in the world literature, together with a table of name changes compared with the major British beetle works. Sections are included dealing with the life history and preimaginal stages and the economic significance of pollen beetles, with special emphasis on the 'rape blossom beetles' (Meligethes aeneus and M. viridescens). A table of larval host-plants is given including the flowering periods of the host species. The family Nitidulidae in the fossil record is discussed, including details of the genus Meligethes in Quaternary peat deposits. A review of the recorded parasites, avian and insect predators and phoretic mites is included in a tabulated form.
Techniques for collection and preservation, including the dissection and preparation of male and female genitalia are described. Techniques for the collection and rearing of larvae are outlined and indications of host-plant associations are discussed. Explanatory notes are given to the keys. Keys are presented to the subfamilies, genera and species of the included groups, with emphasis on confirmatory characters of male and female genitalia. These characters as well as distribution within the British Isles based on the Watsonian vice-county system, world distribution, dates of occurrence, host-plants, and habitat preferences are outlined in a separate section. Published records are given for each species based on the major entomological literature sources.