This species is identical in appearance to Brachychaeteuma bagnalli, with eyes comprising about three poorly pigmented ocelli. The two can only be separated by dissection of male gonopds (female and immature specimens cannot be identified).
Distribution and Habitat
Although its range overlaps with that of B. bagnalli extending northwards to Perthshire, this species has been recorded most frequently in the Home Counties and East Anglia. It is apparently absent from Ireland. The more easterly distribution of B. bradeae in Britain fits with the Central European distribution pattern recognised by Kime (2001). However, the two taxa have very variable gonopods and may yet prove to belong to a single, variable species (Blower, 1986).
Gregory & Campbell (1996) typically found B. bradeae in ancient woodlands on clay in Oxfordshire but analysis of the habitat data suggests a strong association with cultivated sites. The strong synanthropic association shown by B. bagnalli is not so evident for B. bradeae but this may be due to the smaller number of records. Many of the records from continental Europe are from synanthropic situations (Kime, 2001) but Schubart & Husson (1937) found this species in caves in north west France. It also occurs in Germany (Schubart, 1930), the Netherlands (Jeekel, 2001) and Sweden (Lohmander, 1925). As with B. bagnalli, this is an annual species that is adult in the winter and early spring although individuals have been collected as late as June. It is usually collected from the underside of surface debris such as logs and stones but Jeekel (2001) found it in moles’ nests on peaty soil in meadows near Amsterdam.