Hi there, I did the white sheet and light experiment the other night. Was a warm evening and no moon was out, and attracted lots of different species.
But I am really struggling to find out what beetle this is. Any idea's would be great
Well, I can only point you in the right direction. I think it's a cantharid, either Malthodes or Malthinus. Maybe the latter because they're a bit thinner. Hopefully someone else can be more exact.
This is a bit of a guess because I can't see some of the required characters. I think it may be Malthodes flavoguttatus. Malthodes have shiny elytra, Malthinus have punctured striae which you ought to be able to see in the photo. Can you see striae on the elytra? You really need to examine the genitalia to be sure of ID in these.
By coincidence I swept two specimens at the weekend which look broadly similar to yours (which of course is no guarantee they are the same!) and I just keyed them out as Malthodes mysticus. If you have access to a binocular microscope then Mike Fitton's keys to the Cantharidae are here:
Personally I think a couple of the Malthodes characters are quite tricky so it's easier to look directly at the genitalia in Fig. 21 (assuming you have a male).
Perfect, thank you so much! Now im going in the right direction, hopefully it will not take me long to indentify this specimen. Biggest shame is I never looked at the genitalia of this, so will have to just come to a short conclusion of what it could be. Thank you both so much for your replies!