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Overview featured species

Text © K. Reißmann, T. Hörren, M. Stern and C. Benisch


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17.10.2014
Necrodes littoralis (L., 1758)
Necrodes littoralis
The 15 to 25 mm large burying beetle Necrodes littoralis (family Silphidae) is the only representative of the holarctic genus in Germany. It can be easily recognized by the three cinnamon distal members of the antennae. The male exhibits thickened rear thighs and curved shins. The eurytopic species occurs throughout Europe (with the exception of the far North) and in the East it reaches the Caucasus. The beetles prefer humid habitats, e.g. river meadows. The beetles are good fliers and are attracted by decay scent. They are usually found on larger carrion, where beetles and larvae feed directly on the carrion, but also prey on fly maggots present. If disturbed, the can secrete a very foul-smelling liquid to deter potential predators. In Germany the species is recorded from all Federal States and is not endangered. (CB)

10.10.2014
Conopalpus testaceus (Ol., 1790)
Conopalpus testaceus
The 5 to 7 mm false darkling beetle Conopalpus testaceus (family Melandryidae) is the larger and more common of the two Conopalpus species in the European fauna. It can be easily distinguished from its sister species C. brevicollis by its body length and the longer third member of the antennae. The stenotopic, silvicolous and xylodetriticolous species occurs in South, West and Central Europe. In North Europe (British Isles, South Scandinavia) scattered populations exist. Conopalpus testaceus prefers old deciduous forests of the planar and colline zone. The 2-year development cycle takes place in dead branches from the treetop of oak (Quercus) and beech (Fagus) infested with white rot. The beetles appear from May to July and are mainly crepuscular. In Germany the species is recorded from all Federal States and is not endangered. (CB)

03.10.2014
Pterostichus burmeisteri Heer, 1841
Pterostichus burmeisteri
The 12 to 15 mm large ground beetle Pterostichus burmeisteri (family Carabidae) is one of around 35 representatives of the speciose genus Pterostichus in Germany. The eurytopic, hygrophilous and silvicolous species is known to occur from Central Europe to the Balkan Mountains, however is missing from Northern Europe and the British Isles. It lives in forests in the montane to subalpine zone of the mountains and their foreland. Their activity period is from April to October. The new generation hatches in autumn and hibernates. Both beetles and larvae are predacious and feed on various small invertebrates. They can be found hidden under wood and stones, locally even numerous, especially on lime, marl and clay substrates. In Germany the species is missing in the northern Federal States but is not endangered. (CB)

26.09.2014
Aderus populneus (Creutz., 1796)
Aderus populneus
The 1.8 to 2.3 mm large antlike leaf beetle Aderus populneus (family Aderidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. The eurytopic and xylodetricolous species is known to occur from North Africa over Central Europe (without the far North) to Russia, the Caucasus and Syria. In the 1940s it was also imported into North America and is meanwhile established. Aderus populneus lives in the planar and colline zone. The larvae develop in dead wood of various deciduous trees. After pupation in late summer, the beetles hatch in autumn, hibernate and appear in May of the following year. The can be found on shrubs and dead branches using a beating tray. In Germany, the species is recorded from all Federal States, but is rarely recorded and is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

19.09.2014
Anaspis quadrimaculata Gyll., 1817
Anaspis quadrimaculata
The 2 to 2.8 mm large false flower beetle Anaspis quadrimaculata (family Scraptiidae) is one of 24 representatives of the genus Anaspis currently recorded in Germany. The Scraptiiidae are a small family with around 400 species worldwide, which is present in all ecozones of the world. Formerly they were counted into family Mordellidae (tumbling flower beetles). Anaspis quadrimaculata is known to occur from Southwest Europe to Central Europe. The stenotopic, thermophilous species lives at warm slopes, in vineyards and on calcareous grassland. The beetles are found on blossoms. In Germany the species is currently only found in Bavaria, Hesse, Rhineland, Northrhine and from Brandenburg. It is only rarely recorded and in regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)

12.09.2014
Brachysomus echinatus (Bonsd., 1785)
Brachysomus echinatus
The 2.2 to 3 mm large weevil Brachysomus echinatus (family Curculionidae) is the most common of the four representatives of the genus Brachysomus in Germany. It occurs throughout Europe, but becomes increasingly rare in the South. The adults can be found from March to November in warm locations, e.g. at the edges of forests and on grassland. The polyphagous beetles feed on various herbs, shrubs and deciduous trees. They are nocturnal and hide in leaf litter during the day, from which they can be recovered using a sieve. The larvae develop in leaf litter. The new generation hatches in autumn and hibernates in a sealed cell. In Germany, Brachysomus echinatus is regularly recorded, but not too often, and occurs in all Federal States. It is regarded as not endangered. (CB)

05.09.2014
Sphindus dubius (Gyll., 1808)
Sphindus dubius
The only 1.8 to 2 mm large cryptic slime mold beetle Sphindus dubius (family Aspidiphoridae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. The eurytopic, silvicolous and mycetobiont species is known to occur from North Africa over Europe (there up to the far North) to the Caucasus, more common in the lowlands and increasingly rare in the mountain range. Beetles and larvae live on slime molds (Eumycetozoa) on old rotten stumps and logs of deciduous and coniferous trees, under loose bark as well as on puffballs (Lycoperdon, Enteridium). During daytime, the beetles hide on the fungi and become active and swarm at dusk. In Germany, recent records are known from all Federal States and Sphindus dubius is not regarded as endangered, but is also not too often recorded. (CB)

29.08.2014
Nephus redtenbacheri (Muls., 1846)
Nephus redtenbacheri
The only 1.3 to 1.8 mm large ladybird Nephus redtenbacheri (family Coccinellidae) belongs to the worldwide very speciose tribe Scymnini. It is known to occur from North Africa over Europe (there up to the far North) to Asia Minor and the Caucasus. Corresponding to its preference for cold climate it is mainly found in the montane and subalpine zone, or in habitats with cold microclimate, e.g. swamps and bogs. There the beetles live at the edges of water bodies, on wet meadows and on swamp vegetation, as well as on wild and cultivated hops. During winter the beetles can be sieved from flood debris and reed detritus. Nephus redtenbacheri feeds on various aphids present in the herbal layer. In Germany, recent records are known from all Federal States and the species is regarded as not endangered. (CB)

22.08.2014
Endomychus coccineus (L., 1758)
Endomychus coccineus
The 4 to 6 mm large handsome fungus beetle Endomychus coccineus (family Endomychidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany and one of only two species in Europe. Due to its coloration it can be confused with a ladybird at first sight. The eurytopic, silvicolous and mycetophagous species is known to occur throughout Europe, from the far North to South Europe (there in the mountain range). Both beetles and larvae can be found throughout the year in deciduous forests and parks under the bark of logs and stumps infested with fungi, where they feed on fungi. The main activity period of the adult beetles lasts from April to June. Both adult beetles and larvae hibernate. In Germany, recent records are known from all Federal States and the species is regarded as common and not endangered. (CB)

15.08.2014
Laemophloeus kraussi Ganglb., 1897
Laemophloeus kraussi
The 3 to 4 mm large lined flat bark beetle Laemophloeus kraussi (family Laemophloeidae) is one of three species of the genus recorded for Germany. Worldwide around 140 Laemophloeus species have been described. From the similar and much more common sister species L. monilis it can be distinguished by the black head and pronotum and the smaller spot on the elytra The eastern European species occurs in a small stripe from France over Germany and Poland to the European part of Russia. The stenotopic, silvicolous species lives in forests and parks. They can be found on dead trunks and under the bark of various deciduous trees, e.g. oak, beck, hornbeam, elm and birch. In Germany, recent records are known from many Federal States with the exception of the North and the East. L. kraussi is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

08.08.2014
Cychramus variegatus (Hbst., 1792)
Cychramus variegatus
The 5 to 7 mm large sap beetle Cychramus variegatus (family Nitidulidae) is the rarer of the two species of the genus Cychramus present in Germany. It can be easily distinguished from its similar sister species by its body size, the overall darker color and the four black spots on the pronotum. The larger male is chagrined and mat, whereas the pronotum and elytra of the smaller female are shiny. The stenotopic, mycetophilous species is known to occur in the montane zone from North and Central Europe to Siberia and Japan. It prefers montane, deciduous forests and develops in fungi, especially in honey fungus (Armillaria mellea) on decaying stumps and logs, occasionally also on other fungi. In Germany, Cychramus variegatus is missing in the North. It is regarded as not endangered. (CB)

01.08.2014
Anchomenus dorsalis (Pont., 1763)
Anchomenus dorsalis
The 5.8 to 7.5 mm large ground beetle Anchomenus dorsalis (family Carabidae) is the more common of the two species of the genus Anchomenus in Germany and is unmistakable through its conspicuous green-yellow coloration. Anchomenus dorsalis is of westpalearctic distribution and can be found in the meridional and temperate zone from the British Isles over Central Europe to Central Asia. The eurytopic species prefers non-forest land on loamy soil close to groundwater but not wet, e.g. slopes, edges of forests, ruderal sites and agricultural land. The predaceous species feeds on aphids, caterpillars and other small insects. The adult beetles hibernate under stones and wood in loose aggregations of many specimens. In Germany, recent records of this very common species are known from all regions. (CB)

25.07.2014
Callidium aeneum (DeGeer, 1775)
Callidium aeneum
The 9 to 15 mm large longhorn beetle Callidium aeneum (family Cerambycidae) is one of three species of the genus known to occur in Germany. Worldwide 21 Callidium species haven been described, the majority of them in the Nearctic. The silvicolous species lives in the montane and subalpine zone from North and Central Europe over Asia Minor and the Caucasus to Siberia. The development cycle takes one year in spruce, occasionally pine, fir or larch. The larvae need sufficient level of humidity to develop. Larvae present in processed timber wood can often finalize their development. Since pupation takes place in a sealed cell deeply embedded in the wood, Callidium aeneum can cause technical damage. In Germany the species is known from virtually all regions, but scattered and not common to rare. (CB)

18.07.2014
Pissodes piceae (Ill., 1807)
Pissodes piceae
The 7 to 10 mm large European silver fir weevil Pissodes piceae (family Curculionidae) is one of seven species of the holarctic genus present in Germany. The stenotopic, silvicolous species lives in the mountain range of Central and South Europe to the Caucasus. Pissodes piceae prefers montane coniferous forests as habitat and develops on silver fir and other cultivated fir species. Oviposition takes place starting June in egg chambers dug into the bark. The larvae feed on the vascular cambium and pupate in the following spring. Mostly older trees are attacked, around 40 to 80 years old, preferably ailing or weak growing. A real economic relevance for forestry is doubtful. In Germany, recent records are known from the southern half and Westphalia. Pissodes piceae is not regarded as endangered. (CB)

11.07.2014
Melasis buprestoides (L., 1761)
Melasis buprestoides
The 6 to 9 mm large false click beetle Melasis buprestoides (family Eucnemidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. Worldwide 14 species have been described, thereof two from Europe and three from the Nearctic. M. buprestoides is of westpalearctic distribution from North Africa over Europe to Asia minor, the Caucasus and Siberia. The beetles live forests, parks and gardens, preferably on sun-exposed trees. The adult beetles can be found throughout the year in the brood substrate. They swarm during May and June. The larvae develop in a 2-3-year cycle in the stems and thick branches of beech, occasionally hornbeam and elm. They pupate in late summer. The beetle hatches and hibernates in a sealed cell. M. buprestoides is recorded from all Federal States and is not endangered. (CB)

04.07.2014
Anthocomus coccineus (Schall., 1783)
Anthocomus coccineus
The 4.3 to 5 mm large soft-winged flower beetle Anthocomus coccineus (family Malachiidae) is one of three representatives of the genus in Germany. It is known to occur in Europe, from Spain and Portugal in the West over the British Isles to Poland and Hungary in the East. The species is missing in Benelux. A. coccineus is diurnal and lives in wetlands, where it feeds on pollen of reed (Phragmites). Like other representatives of Malachiidae the beetles show a special courtship behavior preceding mating: During courtship, the female bites repeatedly chitinous structures at the tip of the elytra of the male, which are associated with complex glands, the so called exciter organ. Thereby, both sexes are getting in mating mood. The larvae develop in decaying wood, where they prey on other insect larvae. (CB)

27.06.2014
Dianous coerulescens (Gyll., 1810)
Dianous coerulescens
The 5 to 6 mm large rove beetle Dianous coerulescens (family Staphylinidae) is the only representative of the holarctic and oriental genus in our fauna. Dianous coerulescens is known to occur in North and Central Europe, from the British Isles and Fennoscandia to Italy and the Balkan. The beetles live in the low mountain range and its foreland. They dwell in moss and vegetation at waterfalls, weirs and cold torrents. Representatives of the genera Dianous and stenus show a remarkable skimming behavior: With the hydrophobic lower side of their tarsi the beetles are able to walk on water. While touching the water surface with the tip of their abdomen, they secrete a water-insoluble secretion, which rapidly spreads as a film on the water surface, propelling the beetle at its edge. By bending their abdomen, the beetles are able to actively steer and reach speeds of up to 40 cm/s. (CB)

20.06.2014
Cephennium gallicum Ganglb., 1899
Cephennium gallicum
The only 1.2 to 1.3 mm large antlike stone beetle Cephennium gallicum (family Scydmaenidae) is one of four representatives of the genus in Germany. Worldwide more than 100 Cephennium species have been described, mostly from the Palearctic. The eurytopic, hygrophilous and silvicolous Cephennium gallicum occurs in North and Central Europe and has been introduced to North America (Nova Scotia, Canada). It prefers floodplain and other wet forests, alder cars, swamps and bogs as habitat. The tiny beetles can be found in moss, under rotten leaf litter and brushwood as well as in the humus layer at foots of trees. They are specialized predators of moss mites (Oribatida). With their mandibles they are able to cut the hard exoskeleton on the mites open. In Germany, the species is missing in the North and the East, but is not endangered. (CB)

13.06.2014
Lilioceris merdigera (L., 1758)
Lilioceris merdigera
The 6 to 8 mm large leaf beetle Lilioceris merdigera (family Chrysomelidae) is one of three species of the genus currently occurring in Germany. It can be distinguished from the similar sister species Lilioceris lilii by the red head and legs. The species is of palearctic distribution. It can be found from May to September in forests, gardens and parks. Both beetles and larvae feed on the leaves of plants from the lily and leek family, e.g. Lily of the Valley, Turk's cap lily as well as ramsons, onion and garlic. In cultures of the latter it can become a pest. When disturbed, the beetles can produce chirping sounds by means of an abdominal stridulatory apparatus. The larvae cover themselves with a protective case of their own excrements. In Germany, Liliceris merdigera is everywhere present and is not endangered. (CB)

06.06.2014
Oiceoptoma thoracica (L., 1758)
Oiceoptoma thoracica
The 12 to 16 mm large red-breasted carrion beetle Oiceoptoma thoracica (family Silphidae) is the only representative of the otherwise holarctic genus Oiceoptoma in Germany. Worldwide 3 species have been described from North America and 6 from the Palearctic. Oiceoptoma thoracica in known to occur from Europe (including the British Isles) to Japan and reaches the Polar Circle in the North. With its flattened oval body shape, the red velvety pronotum and the black elytra, the species can't be confused with any other species in our fauna. The can be found in forests, gardens and on meadows. Both beetles and larvae feed on carrion, dung and decaying plant matter fungi (especially common stinkhorn, which spores the help to disseminate). In Germany the species is recorded from all Federal States and very common. (CB)

30.05.2014
Polyphylla fullo (L., 1758)
Polyphylla fullo
The 25 to 36 mm large Pine Chafer Polyphylla fullo (family Scarabaeidae) is the only species of the genus in Europe and the largest representative of subfamily Melolonthinae. It is known to occur in North Africa and Europe, in North to South Sweden, in the East to the Caucasus. The male exhibits a conspicuous enlarged antennal “fan”. The larval development in the soil on the roots of grasses and sedges takes 3 to 4 years. The adult beetles live in sandy habitats, e.g. sunny pine forests and dunes. They feed on pine foliage but do not cause economically relevant damage. In June and July the beetles swarm at dusk. With the exception of the Northeast, recent records are known from most Federal States. Polyphyllo fullo is regarded as endangered (RL 2) and is protected by the Federal Regulation for the Protection of Species (BArtSchV). (CB)

23.05.2014
Dermestes haemorrhoidalis Küst., 1852
Dermestes haemorrhoidalis
The 6.5 to 9 mm large black larder beetle Dermestes haemorrhoidalis (family Dermestidae) is one of 13 permanently occurring species of the genus in Germany. The synanthropic species is of virtually cosmopolitan distribution. It lives in storages and households where both beetles and larvae feed on foodstuffs of any kind, e.g. meat products, cheese, noodles or dried fish. They are able to digest keratin too, hence they can become pests on furs, feathers, wool, leather and in insect collections. For pupation, the larvae burrow into materials not too hard. In this way, Dermestes haemorrhoidalis is regarded both as a hygiene pest and a material pest. The species is recorded from numerous Federal States and records have become increasingly common in households in cities. It is not regarded as endangered. (CB)

16.05.2014
Chlorophanus viridis (L., 1758)
Chlorophanus viridis
The 8 to 11 mm large weevil Chlorophanus viridis (family Curculionidae) is the most common of the three species of the genus in Germany and can be easily recognized by the conspicuous, fluorescent yellow stripes at the sides of the elytra. It is known to occur in Europe with the exception of the British Isles and Scandinavia. The polyphagous beetles live on various deciduous trees, among others on willow, poplar, alder and hazel. They can be found in fresh to wet deciduous forests, mostly near creeks and in river meadows. The ectophagous larvae develop in the soil and feed on the roots of the host trees. The adult larvae hibernate and pupate in spring. The beetles hatch in May. In Germany, the species is not endangered, but has become rarer over the recent years for unknown reasons. (CB)

09.05.2014
Spercheus emarginatus (Schall., 1783)
Spercheus emarginatus
The 5.5 to 7 mm large filter-feeding water scavenger beetle Spercheus emarginatus (family Spercheidae) is the only species in the genus in Germany. Worldwide the family contains only one genus comprising 18 species, most of them in the afrotropic and oriental region. Spercheus emarginatus ranges from Europe over Asia Minor to Kazakhstan and was recently also recorded from China. In our fauna the stenotopic, limicolous species lives in stagnant water with rich vegetation, often in the mud on the edge of small, eutrophic ponds. Both adults and larvae are among the few coleopteran filter-feeders, feeding on detritus or possibly small crustaceans and insect larvae. In Germany, Spercheus emarginatus is known from virtually all Federal States and is regarded as not endangered. (CB)

02.05.2014
Oreodytes sanmarkii (Sahlb., 1826)
Oreodytes sanmarkii
The 2.5 to 3 mm large diving beetle Oreodytes sanmarkii (family Dytiscidae) belongs to the small genus Oreodytes comprising only three species in Germany. Worldwide around 30 species have been described, thereof 18 in North America. Most species of the genus are distinctively patterned with various marks and stripes. Oreodytes sanmarkii is a boreomontane species occurring in Scandinavia and in the mountain range in central and south Germany, separated by a broad zone of extinction in the North German Plain. The species has been also recorded from North America. In our fauna the stenotopic, rheophilous beetle can be found in quiet zones of cold mountain torrents and in fountain moss. It reacts more sensitive towards pollution and siltation than most other dytiscids. In Germany it is not regarded as endangered. (CB)


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