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


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Chalcophora mariana (L., 1758)
Chalcophora mariana
With its length of 24 to 30 mm, the Pine Borer Chalcophora mariana is the largest species of the jewel beetles (family Buprestidae) in Central Europe. Today in Germany its occurrence is limited to parts of the former GDR and the southern Federal States. The development cycle is reported to take two (Southern Europe) to four (Central) years. Dead pine wood is the preferred brood substrate. It can be inhabited for several generations and can be finally broken down into dust. The beetles can be observed on pine trunks and stumps in clear cut areas between 10 and 15 hrs, as the beetles are found only in the midday heat. Earlier or later activity is rare. (KR)

Hypera dauci (Ol., 1807)
Hypera dauci
With a body length of 5-7 mm, the nicely patterned weevil Hypera dauci (family Curculionidae) is among the larger representatives of the genus Hypera. The xerophilous species lives on dry and sandy locations sparsely covered by vegetation, e.g. ruderal sites and sand pits from Southern Europe to the southern part of Northern Europe. Both beetles and larvae feed on leaves and flower buds of Redstem filaree (Erodium cicutarium). Hypera dauci is a nocturnal species. During daytime the beetles hide on the ground below the plant. The spotted, grey-brown elytra provide an excellent camouflage for the beetle on sandy ground and the beetle is easily overlooked. (CB)

Gibbium psylloides (Czenp., 1778)
Gibbium psylloides
The Smooth Spider Beetle Gibbium psylloides (family Ptinidae) is 2 to 3.2 mm in size with a mite-like appearance. It is one of several synanthropic species of the family with cosmopolitan distribution. Usually they are found in old buildings with faulty-grounds filled with straw and chaff. But they are also found in old barns, or in pharmacies for example in containers with old herbs. Beetles and larvae live in and feed on dry vegetable (grain, fruits) and animal matter (wool, hair, feathers) and can occasionally cause damage to the infested goods. If they occur in large numbers, the nocturnal beetles can be very annoying and it is difficult to eliminate them. (KR)

Dircaea australis Fairm., 1856
Dircaea australis
The conspicuous, yellow and black colored Dircaea australis belongs to the darkling beetles (family Melandryidae) and is 8-12 mm long. It is known to occur in Central Europe (France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Latvia) and in the south of Northern Europe (Sweden). In Germany, the species has been recorded in Westphalia and more recently in the Palatinate. D. australis is a rare, xylodetriticolous relic of primeval forests and develops mostly in white-rotted beech (Fagus sylvatica), occasionally in lime tree (Tilia) and in Common Whitebeam (Sorbus aria). In sunny weather the swift beetles can be observed. In Germany, D. australis is regarded as critically endangered. (CB)

Epitrix atropae Foudr., 1860
Epitrix atropae
The tiny Belladonna flea beetle is only 1.5-2 mm long and belongs to the leaf beetles (family Chrysomelidae). The stenotopic species is known to occur in Western and Central Europe. In Germany it is not recorded from the northern and eastern Federal States. Epitrix atropae can be found in forests, on clear cuttings and glades, where its host, belladonna (Atropa belladonna) grows. Occasionally the species is recorded from henbane (Hyoscyamus) and boxthorn (Lycium). The beetles are phyllophagous and cause characteristic feeding traces on the foliage. The larvae develop on the roots below the ground. If disturbed, the beetles escape swiftly with a huge jump (name of the subfamily!). (CB)

Tetratoma fungorum F., 1790
Tetratoma fungorum
Tetratoma fungorum belongs to the polypore fungus beetles (family Tetratomidae), closely related to the Melandryidae. It is 4-4.5 mm long and exhibits a yellow to red pronotum and dark blue metallic elytra, and is characterized by its capitate antenna with 4 enlarged apical members (name!). T. fungorum is known to occur in Central Europe and the southern part of Northern Europe, and reaches the Caucasus in East. The mycetobiont species develops in various fungi (Piptoporus betulinus, Polyporus squamosus and Laetiporus sulphureus) on deciduous trees (beech, oak, birch and others). T. fungorum is present throughout Germany, preferentially in the low mountain range. (CB)

Asida sabulosa (Fuessl., 1775)
Asida sabulosa
The darkling beetle Asida sabulosa (family Tenebrionidae) is the only species in Central Europe of a genus that is represented in the Mediterranean region through a variety of very similar species. The center of distribution of this 11-15 mm long beetle is located in Southwest Europe. In Central Europe the species reaches Rhineland-Palatinate. The populations in the Volcanic Eifel are the northernmost currently known. The species requires warm and dry screes, sparsely covered with vegetation. Besides from Rhineland, A. sabulosa is only known from the Saarland. For the Palatinate and Hesse it is reported as missing or extinct. (KR)

Carabus intricatus L., 1761
Carabus intricatus
With a length of 24-36 mm the Blue Ground Beetle Carabus intricatus is among the larger species of the genus Carabus (family Carabidae) in Central Europe. The rather rare species lives in sparse, deciduous forests in the low mountain range and prefers south-facing slopes, but is also occasionally found in suitable habitats of the lowlands. Like many other Carabus species it forms wintering communities under the bark of dead trees, partly together with other carabid beetles. Similar to other species of the genus, it is regarded as beneficial organism for preying on snails, caterpillars and other pests. In Germany, C. intricatus is strictly protected by Federal Law. (KR)

Gnorimus variabilis (L., 1758)
Gnorimus variabilis
The Variable Chafer Gnorimus variabilis belongs to the family Scarabaeidae, and is very closely related to the well-known Rose Chafers (genus Cetonia and Protaetia). At 17 to 22 mm length, it is a large species for the Central European fauna. The larva develops in red-rotted hollow trees of oak and beech, but also in red-rotted wood of lying trunks. The rare species is widespread in Central- and Southern Europe and is mostly found in its brood substrate, much lesser on flowers such as elderberry and others. Evidence for its presence is often provided by leftovers of beetles preyed by birds around the brood substrate, rather than by observation of the beetle itself. (KR)

Hylobius transversovittatus (Goeze, 1777)
Hylobius transversovittatus
The Loosestrife root weevil Hylobius transversovittatus belongs to the weevils (family Curculionidae). The 9-11 mm long, reddish-brown species develops on Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) on wetlands. The nocturnal beetles appear in April and start feeding on foliage and young stems. After oviposition in May, the larvae hatch and begin to mine the stem or root in a 1-2 year development cycle. The species is distributed throughout Europe, but is only occasionally found due to its nocturnal lifestyle. In the 90s, Hylobius transversovittatus was introduced into the US and Canada for biocontrol of Loosestrife and is now established on many sites across the US. (CB)

Aesalus scarabaeoides (Panz., 1794)
Aesalus scarabaeoides
With a length of 5-7 mm the stag beetle Aesalus scarabaeoides is the smallest member of the stag beetles (family Lucanidae) in Central Europe. The beetle is very similar to the ones of genus Trox (Trogidae). It develops in red-rotted, moist to wet oak wood. The beetle is found throughout the year in oak logs where it develops, together with the larvae. It is rarely found outside of the wood and then only at night. The species is widespread in Central and Southeast Europe and mainly found in the old forests with a high percentage of deadwood, but everywhere it is rare or very rare. The beetle can fly and is attracted to light. (KR)

Oberea erythrocephala (Schrk., 1776)
Oberea erythrocephala
The Leafy Spurge Stem Boring Beetle Oberea erythrocephala belongs to the longhorn beetles (family Cerambycidae). The slender beetles are 9-14 mm long and are active fliers. The larval development cycle takes one year in the stem and root of Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia sp.). As a markedly xerothermophilic species, O. erythrocephala can be found from May to July on arenaceous heathland and sun exposed mountain slopes in southern Central Europe. In 1980, the species was introduced to the US and Canada for pest control of Leafy Spurge on grassland and was released in several states. Meanwhile, it is established in a few states. (CB)

Palmar festiva (L., 1758)
Palmar festiva
The Cypress jewel beetle Palmar festiva belongs to the jewel beetles (family Buprestidae). The thermophilic species with Mediterranean distribution develops in juniper and was a rare species in Germany until a few years ago. It was known to occur localized on the southern Swabian Alb. Since 2003, P. festiva spreads quickly in the southern river Rhine valley. The new host is thuja, which is common in gardens as hedgerow. Depending on the severity of the infestation, the thuja dies off within 2-3 years. The successful change of hosts has turned the former rare species into a "pest". The current legal conservation status is being considered. (CB)

Trichosirocalus horridus (Panz., 1801)
Trichosirocalus horridus
The 3.4 to 4 mm large weevil Trichosirocalus horridus (family Curculionidae) has a characteristic bristly appearance. The species is known to occur from Western, Central and Southern Europe to Western Asia. However, in Germany it is not present in all regions. The beetle appears end of May and deposits its eggs on various thistle species. The larvae burrow through the stem into the root, where they pupate. Recently, two species have been separated from Trichosirocalus horridus, which can be only distinguished by examination of internal anatomic features and by their different host pants. One of them, Trichosirocalus mortadelo, is thought to occur in Germany as well, with the consequence that old records of T. horridus now need revision. The species is only found in warm and dry habitats and is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3) in Germany. (MS)

Drypta dentata (Rossi, 1790)
Drypta dentata
The 7 to 9 mm large ground beetle Drypta dentata (family Carabidae) is one of only two species in the genus in Europe and the only one occurring in Central Europe. Its distribution ranges from Southern Europe over Central and Southeast Europe to Western Russia. It prefers warm habitats close to water bodies. The beetles can be found in floodplains under wood and stones both on muddy and stony ground. It does also tolerate salt-influenced habitats. Drypta dentata hibernates as adult beetle and shows a tendency to aggregate in larger groups under loose bark for hibernation. In Germany, the species is currently only recorded from the South. Despite this geographical restriction, it is not regarded as endangered in the Red List of endangered species. (FB)

Zyras collaris (Payk., 1800)
Zyras collaris
The 4 to 5 mm large rove beetle Zyras collaris (family Staphylinidae) is one of eleven representatives of the genus in Germany. Worldwide, the genus in the wider sense comprises more than 800 species. Zyras collaris is known to occur in entire Central and Northern Europe (without the far North). In the south it reaches Northeast Spain, in the east the Caucasus. Additionally, there are records known from Algeria. The stenotopic, hygrophilous and paludicolous species can be found on wet meadows and on the swampy edges of water bodies, preferably in wet spots, mostly associated with ants, but also in detritus and leaf litter. In Germany, recent records of Zyras collaris are known from all regions and the species is not regarded as endangered, but becomes more rare towards the west. (CB)

Coraebus undatus (F., 1787)
Coraebus undatus
The 10 to 14 mm large jewel beetle Coraebus undatus (family Buprestidae) is one of four representatives of the genus in Germany. Worldwide, the mainly palearctic genus comprises more than 180 species, but is not present in the Americas. From Africa and Australia only very few species are known. Coraebus undatus is of holomediterranean distribution and reaches the northern border of its range in the Lower Rhine region and in Brandenburg. The beetles live on sun-exposed oaks in warm habitats, e.g. Dry floodplains and dry slopes. The larvae develop in a 2-3-year cycle under the bark of ailing oaks, mainly in the trunk or larger branches. The diurnal beetles can be found from end of May on their host trees, mainly in the canopy. In Germany, its relevance for forestry is low and Coraebus undatus is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)

Megatoma undata (L., 1758)
Megatoma undata
The 4 to 6 mm large larder beetle Megatoma undata (family Dermestidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. Worldwide, the genus comprises 21 species, thereof seven in the Palearctic, twelve in the Nearctic, one in the Indomalaya ecozone and one is of holarctic distribution. Megatoma undata is known to occur from Europe to Siberia. The larva develops in the nests of Mason bees and other hymenopterans, where it feeds on the remains of dead insects and probably also pollen. The beetles can be found on old wood populated by hymenopterans, on sun-exposed walls of clay-pits as well as on house walls in rural regions, occasionally in blossoms. In Germany, recent records are known from all Federal States. Megatoma undata is not very often recorded and is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

Bitoma crenata (F., 1775)
Bitoma crenata
The 2.6 to 3.5 mm large cylindrical bark beetle Bitoma crenata (family Colydiidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. Worldwide the genus comprises more than 100 species. Bitoma crenata is widespread in Europe and reached the Polar Circle, in the East it reaches the Caucasus, Mongolia and the Tomsk region in western Siberia. The eurytopic, silvicolous species lives in deciduous and mixed forests and parks. The beetles live and develop under dead, loose bark of deciduous and coniferous trees and under dry bracket fungi. Both larvae and beetles prey on other small invertebrates. The beetles can be found throughout the year, often gregarious and occasionally on the bark in the sunshine. In Germany, Bitoma crenata is everywhere common and not endangered. (CB)

Pseudocistela ceramboides (L., 1761)
Pseudocistela ceramboides
The 10 to 12 mm large comb-clawed beetle Pseudocistela ceramboides (family Alleculidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. In the entire Palearctic the genus comprises ten species, thereof six in the eastern Palearctic. Pseudocistela ceramboides is known to occur from South England and southern Fennoscandia to Northern Italy and in east-west direction from France to the Baltic. The beetles can be found from May to July in sparse oak forests, clearcuttings and at the edges of forests. The adult beetles live on decaying wood, mainly oak. The larvae develop in decaying wood and wood detritus. The beetles are nocturnal and attracted to light sources. In Germany, recent records of Pseudocistela ceramboides are known from most Federal States, but the species is regarded as endangered (RL ,2). (CB)

Omaloplia ruricola (F., 1775)
Omaloplia ruricola
The 5 to 7.5 mm large scarab beetle Omaloplia ruricola (family Scarabaeidae) is the more common of the two representatives of the genus in Germany. In total, the genus comprises 25 species from Central Europe to Central Asia. Omaloplia ruricola is known to occur from Spain over Central Europe (including South England) to North Italy and the Northern Balkan and reaches Russia in the east (Novgorod region). The stenotopic, xerophilous species lives on warm and grassy slopes, on steppe and calcareous grassland. The beetles can be found from May to September on grasses, on low vegetation and on shrubs. The larvae develop in the ground feed on grass roots and also hibernate in the soil. In Germany, Omaloplia ruriola is only missing in the North. The species is not regarded as endangered. (CB)

Rhagium sycophanta (Schrk., 1781)
Rhagium sycophanta
The 17 to 30 mm large longhorn beetle Rhagium sycophanta (family Cerambycidae) is the largest of the four representatives of the genus in our fauna. Totally, the genus comprises 17 species in the Palearctic, thereof 12 in the western Palearctic. Rhagium sycophanta is known to occur from Europe to Asia minor, the Caucasus and the Altai Mountains. The stenotopic, silvicolous species lives in deciduous and mixed forests from the lowlands to the low mountain range. It develops in oak, rarely in other deciduous trees like beech, lime, birch, alder and chestnut. The beetles can be found on the host trees, often at the foot of the tree, occasionally also on umbellifers. The larvae dig broad, flat galleries under the bark into the wood of oak stumps, logs and ailing trees. The formerly common species has become rare in Germany and is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

Lachnaia sexpunctata (Scop., 1763)
Lachnaia sexpunctata
The 9 to 13 mm large leaf beetle Lachnaia sexpunctata (family Chrysomelidae) is the only representative of the genus in our fauna. The genus comprises 20 species in the western Palearctic und two in the Afrotropical region. It is most speciose in the Mediterranean region. Lachnaia sexpunctata is known to occur from Northeast France over Southern Germany and Southeast Europe to Asia minor. The stenotopic, xerothermophilous species can be found on sun-exposed dry and warm slopes, especially of volcanic origin. It is polyphagous and lives on exposed branches of oak (Quercus), but also on hazel (Corylus) and willow species (Salix). The male exhibits conspicuous large legs and tarsi. In Germany, the species is confined to the southern half of the country and is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)

Mogulones larvatus (Schltz., 1896)
Mogulones larvatus
The almost 5 mm large root-crown weevil Mogulones larvatus (family Curculionidae) with its coloration rich in contrast appears in spring, mostly from April to June, but a bit later than its smaller sister species Mogulones pallidicornis, which often appears already in March. Mogulones larvatus is also considerably rarer and seems to prefer taller specimen of the host plant common lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis). The species is known to occur throughout almost entire Europe, North Africa and Siberia in the East. However, in Germany records are rare and scattered and the species is regarded as endangered (RL 2). While in Germany the species is found in beech forests, in Southern Europe it also lives in more open habitats on viper's bugloss (Echium) species. In Australia it is even used as a biological control agent against imported expansive Echium species. (MS)

Cymindis humeralis (Geoffr., 1785)
Cymindis humeralis
The ground beetle Cymindis humeralis (family Carabidae) is a characteristic species of calcareous grassland and heathland. The genus Cymindis comprises approx. 40 species in Europe, thereof nine are present in Germany. With 8 to 11 mm body length, Cymindis humeralis is medium-sized. Its coloration is typical: Dark, glabrous elytra with a light-colored spot at the base. The species is among to more common representatives of the genus. It is known to occur from the southern part of Northern Europe to North Africa and Western Asia. In Germany the species is widespread, but is not very often recorded. For this reason, and due to the progressing loss of its habitats, Cymindis humeralis is classified as vulnerable (RL 3) in the Red List of endangered species in Germany. (FB)

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