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


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12.12.2014
Lebia marginata (Fourcr., 1785)
Lebia marginata
The 3.8 to 5 mm large ground beetle Lebia marginata (family Carabidae) belongs to the rarest of the four firmly established representatives of the genus Lebia in Germany. The speciose genus is present in all ecozones and comprised more than 700 species in 17 subgenera. The eurytopic, xerophilous Lebia marginata occurs from southern Central Europe over South Europe to the Caucasus and Southwest Asia. The beetles can be found on shrubs and small trees at the sunny edges of forests and on clearings, preferably in the afternoon. The beetles prey on other small insects. In Germany recent records are only known from the southern half of the country and the species is quite rare, however at the places of discovery in their habitats their abundance is not particularly low. In Germany regarded as critically endangered (RL 1). (CB)

05.12.2014
Platycerus caraboides (L., 1758)
Platycerus caraboides
The 10 to 14 mm large stag beetle Platycerus caraboides (family Lucanidae) is one of two species of the genus in Germany. The stenotopic, silvicolous species occurs from the southern part of North Europe over Central Europe to West Asia. It is missing in the North of the British Isles and North Scandinavia as well as in South Spain, Greece and large parts of the Balkan. Platycerus caraboides prefers warm beech forests in the lowlands and in the colline zone up to 750 m ASL. The similar sister species P. caprea however prefers cool and humid habitats in the montane and subalpine zone. The beetles feed on leaves and buds of deciduous trees. The larval development takes 3 years and takes place in white-rotten wood of various deciduous trees. In Germany, Platycerus caraboides is known from all regions and rather common. (CB)

28.11.2014
Bruchus pisorum (L., 1758)
Bruchus pisorum
The 4 to 5 mm large pea weevil Bruchus pisorum (family Bruchidae) is one of 14 representatives of the genus in Germany and is today a cosmopolite. It is regarded as a major pest in pea cultivation. The female deposits its eggs on the outside of the pods. The larvae feed through the pod and develop inside the seed pod, where each larva digs itself into a pea seed where it later pupates. In this way, the beetle gets into storages. The infestation of the peas can be considerable. There are reports from the first world war, that pea soups from field kitchens where appreciated by the troops as particularly "tasty" due to the small pieces of "bacon" in them. Of course, these "soup additions" were the larvae of Bruchus pisorum. In Germany, there are recent records from the West and the East. (CB)

21.11.2014
Aphodius luridus (F., 1775)
Aphodius luridus
The 6 to 9 mm large dung beetle Aphodius luridus (family Scarabaeidae) is one of around 60 species in the genus currently occurring in Germany. The genus Aphodius is globally present and comprises more than 1000 species in numerous subgenera. Aphodius luridus is of palearctic distribution from North Africa over Europe to Eastern Siberia. Quite common in our fauna in the lowlands and the colline zone, Aphodius luridus can be found from March to early June on dung of various mammals, including sheep, goat, horse and especially cattle. The xerophilic species prefers sunny pastures, heathland, warm and dry slopes, especially on calcareous soil. Besides the typical yellow-black spotted specimen there are also all black specimen. In Germany, recent records are known from virtually all Federal States and the species is not endangered. (CB)

14.11.2014
Bradybatus fallax Gerst., 1860
Bradybatus fallax
The 3.2 to 3.8 mm large weevil Bradybatus fallax (family Curculionidae) is one of the three species of the genus in Germany, besides B. kellneri and the rare B. creutzeri. The species is known to occur from Central Europe (in warm locations) to Russia in the East and to Italy in the South. Bradybatus fallax lives on field maple, Norway maple and especially on sycamore maple. The beetles dwell on the inflorescences and are therefore not easily found, as the maple trees are too high to allow easy access to the inflorescences. The larvae develop in the fruits of the host. The new generation hatches in late summer and hibernates dispersed in the habitat. Bradybatus fallax is recorded from most Federal States in Germany and is not regarded as endangered. It is most likely under-recorded due to the above-mentioned difficulties in finding it. (CB)

07.11.2014
Opatrum sabulosum (L., 1761)
Opatrum sabulosum
The 7 to 10 mm large darkling beetle Opatrum sabulosum (family Tenebrionidae) is the more common representative of the genus in Germany. The stenotopic, xerophilous and psammophilous species is known to occur from Central and North Europe to the Caucasus, Central Asia, Siberia and Northwest China. The beetles prefer warm and dry habitats, e.g. warm and dry slopes, vineyards, semi-arid grassland, quarries, sun-exposed banks and dunes. The beetles feed both on plant detritus and fresh plant matter. The larvae develop in the ground, feeding on plant roots, where they can become an agricultural pest. The beetles hatch in autumn, hibernate in the ground and appear already starting March of the following year. In Germany, the species recorded from all Federal States and is very common. (CB)

31.10.2014
Donacia marginata Hoppe, 1795
Donacia marginata
The 8 to 11 mm large leaf beetle Donacia marginata (family Chrysomelidae) is one of 20 partially quite similar representatives of the holarctic genus in Germany. Worldwide, more than 80 species from three subgenera have been described. Donacia marginata is known to occur from North Africa over Europe to Central Asia. The stenotopic, hygrophilous species can be found from April to June on muddy edges of ponds and lakes, rarely of flowing waters. It is monophagous and lives on branched bur-reed (Sparganium erectum). The larvae develop on the roots of the host plant under water. They get their breathing air from the host plant. The adult beetles feed on leaves and blossoms of the host. In Germany, the species is recorded from all Federal States and is not endangered. (CB)

24.10.2014
Cteniopus flavus (Scop., 1763)
Cteniopus flavus
The 7 to 9.5 mm large comb-clawed beetle Cteniopus flavus (family Alleculidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. In Europe, the genus contains seven species. The stenotopic, thermophilous species ranges from Europe over Asia to Siberia; in the North it is sporadic and rare. Cteniopus flavus prefers warm habitats, e.g. sunny slopes, calcareous and semi-arid grassland as well as vineyards from the lowlands to the valleys of mountain foreland. The 2-year larval development takes place in the ground on plant roots in sandy or pebbly soil. The adult beetles can be found from June to August on flower umbels and blossoming linden, where they feed on pollen. At suitable localities, the beetles are often abundant. In Germany, the species is recorded from most Federal States, but is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

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)


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