Beetle fauna of Germany © 2007–2018 Christoph Benisch
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Text © K. Reißmann, T. Hörren, M. Stern, F. Bötzl and C. Benisch


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Harpalus flavescens (Pill.Mitt., 1783)
Harpalus flavescens
The distribution of the Ground Beetle Harpalus flavescens (family Carabidae) spreads from Central Europe to Southern Russia in the east. In the north it reaches South Sweden and Southern Finland, in the south Northern Italy. Obviously, the species is currently not present in the Alps (last time reported in 1990 from Switzerland, no records from Austria). The 11 to 13 mm large, psammophilic beetle is extremely thermophilic and occurs on sandy areas sparsely covered with vegetation. Therefore the beetle can be regarded as a typical element of heaths. In the large sandy areas in Eastern Germany the species is still very common, otherwise generally rare, but currently reported from almost all Federal States. In Germany, Harpalus flavescens is classified as vulnerable (RL 3). (KR)

Laemophloeus monilis (F., 1787)
Laemophloeus monilis
The Lined Flat Bark Beetle Laemophloeus monilis (family Laemophloeidae) is present in most parts of Germany. It is absent in the Saarland and in the regions of Weser-Ems and Lower Elbe. There are only old reports from Thuringia, Hannover and Schleswig-Holstein. The species is rare in the northern parts of Germany, and, although it is somewhat more common in the southern parts, a clear loss in habitats is observed. Both beetles and larvae live under the bark of deciduous trees, especially of beech (Fagus), less frequently of linden (Tilia). Beetles and larvae presumably prey on the bark beetle Taphrorychus bicolor (family Scolytidae), hunting its larvae in their burrows. In the Red List of Germany L. monilis is classified as vulnerable (RL 3). (KR/CB)

Lasiorhynchites sericeus (Hbst., 1797)
Lasiorhynchites sericeus
The distribution of the Thief Weevil Lasiorhynchites sericeus (family Rhynchitidae) stretches over all of Europe except the north. In the east it reaches far into Russia. The 5.2 to 6.4 mm large species is known to occur throughout Germany, but everywhere only very sporadically. The beetles live from May till July on oak. They exhibit a very interesting brood parasitism: Contrary to other representatives of the genus, the female does not produce a leaf-roll herself, but places her egg in the leaf-roll of the Leaf-rolling Weevil Attelabus nitens while still "under construction". Also, the females lay their eggs in already finished rolls. The larva eats the egg of the Leaf-rolling Weevil before it consumes the leaf as the brood substrate. (KR/CB)

Timarcha metallica (Laich., 1781)
Timarcha metallica
The leaf beetle Timarcha metallica (family Chrysomelidae) is one of three representatives of the genus in Germany. Its distribution stretches from Central Europe and the south-easternmost France and northernmost Italy to the east far into Russia. It is a stenotopic, montane species, which is only found in the low mountain and the high mountain ranges. There are recent records from all mountain areas of Germany and the species is only missing on the coast and in large parts of East Germany. The 5 to 10 mm large beetle and its larvae are oligophagous and live on Bedstraw (Galium) species. The beetle hibernates and can be found in the winter quarter or very early in spring, but only very sporadically. (KR/CB)

Trox scaber (L., 1767)
Trox scaber
The hide beetle Trox scaber is one of seven species of the family Trogidae in Germany. Formerly, the family Trogidae was placed as subfamily Troginae of the scarab beetles (Scarabaeidae). The 5 to 8 mm large beetles can be found in bird nests (nidicolous), where also the development cycle takes place. They may be found in wood detritus in large hollow tree-trunks, which were inhabited by breeding birds. Occasionally, the crepuscular and nocturnal species can be observed at night outside the tree hollow on the trunk. Trox scaber is virtually of cosmopolitan distribution and occurs from the plain to the mountain range, preferably at lower altitudes and hence is e.g. rarely found in the Alps. As the most common species of the genus T. scaber is not endangered in Germany. (KR)

Hololepta plana (Sulzer, 1776)
Hololepta plana
With a size of 8 to 9 mm the Hister beetle Hololepta plana belongs already to the larger species of the Hister beetles (family Histeridae). The species is present in almost all over Central Europe, and only lacking in the northernmost areas. In Germany it is widespread, but nowhere common. The beetles prefer river meadows and alluvial forests as habitat. Due to their extremely flattened body shape they are perfectly adapted to a life under the loose bark and layers of bast of dead, lying poplar trunks (Populus). A sufficient level of moisture under the bark seems to play a more important role than warm temperatures. Under the bark the beetles and their larvae prey on the larvae and pupae of various fly species (order Diptera). (KR/CB)

Pelenomus velaris (Gyll., 1827)
Pelenomus velaris
The weevil Pelenomus velaris (family Curculionidae) is widespread in Europe, but locally rather rare or even absent, most notably in the southern and southeastern parts. In Germany, the occurrences of the 2.4 to 2.8 mm large species are isolated and insular. Recent records have been reported from the regions of Bavaria, North Rhine, the Lower Elbe region, Schleswig-Holstein, Brandenburg, Thuringia and Saxony. The beetles can be found during spring in the mud of former flooded areas on the sprouts of their host plant, Water Smartweed (Polygonum amphibium). At this stage P. amphibium just starts growing and is difficult to determine precisely. In the Red List of Germany Pelenomus velaris is classified as endangered (RL 3). (KR/CB)

Buprestis octoguttata L., 1758
Buprestis octoguttata
The distribution of the Jewel beetle Buprestis octoguttata (family Buprestidae) stretches from North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula across Central Europe (the region of Atlantic climate being avoided) to Southern Russia. In Germany, the 9 to 15 mm large beetle is more common in the eastern parts than in the west. In the West its distribution is only insular. Sandy pine forests and pine heathland are the preferred habitat. The larvae develop primarily in pine (Pinus), less frequently in other pinewood, preferably in sun-exposed deadwood and stumps. Depending on the climate the larvae complete their development cycle in two to three years. From May to August (September), the beetles can be observed in the midday heat on sun-exposed deadwood. (KR)

Carabus hortensis L., 1758
Carabus hortensis
The distribution of the 23-30 mm large Garden ground beetle Carabus hortensis (family Carabidae) stretches over large parts of Central Europe, in the north far into the Scandinavian countries, in the south to Northern Italy and in the east far into Russia. The beetle avoids the northwestern, western and central part of Germany. In the mountains it rises to the altimontane zone (approx. 2000 m above sea level). Carabus hortensis is a forest species and does appear as early as May, but does not reach its peak until summer. Both the old beetles, and more commonly the larvae hibernate, but in contrast to other Carabus species, very rarely under bark or in dead wood. The nocturnal species is predacious and feeds on other insects, snails and fresh carrion. (KR/CB)

Sospita vigintiguttata (L., 1758)
Sospita vigintiguttata
The 5 to 6.5 mm large Twenty-Spot Ladybird Sospita vigintiguttata (family Coccinellidae) is one of the larger species of this family and one of those that is rarely found. It is reported from all over Germany, but everywhere as rare. In the Red List of Germany it is listed as vulnerable (RL 3). The preferred habitat of the species is wetland, like brooksides, meadow valleys and alluvial forests with a linkage to alder (Alnus). The beetle occurs in two different color morphs: A black and white to black and yellow spotted morph and a yellowish-brown-white spotted morph. Due to the fact that during winter and spring only black and white spotted beetles are found, it is presumed that the beetles change their color during their lifespan. (KR)

Colobicus hirtus (Rossi, 1790)
Colobicus hirtus
The distribution of the Cylindrical Bark Beetle Colobicus hirtus (family Colydiidae) stretches from Spain to Southern Europe and Central Europe to Bulgaria and further to the east. The original northernmost boundary goes right through the middle of Germany. In Germany, the 3 to 5 mm large beetle is very rare. There are only historical records from most regions. The only recent records come from Baden-Wuerttemberg and Hesse. The species is considered to be a relic of primeval forests. Beetles and larvae live on deciduous trees, mainly beech, rarely on other deciduous trees. Due to the loss of so many habitats, C. hirtus is classified as critically endangered in the German Red List (RL 1). (KR)

Xylopertha retusa (Ol., 1790)
Xylopertha retusa
The distribution of the 3 to 6 mm large branch borer Xylopertha retusa (family Bostrichidae) spreads from North Africa over Southwestern and Central Europe to East Europe without the British Isles and Scandinavia. In Germany there are recent records from many Federal States except from the North. As a thermophilic species Xylopertha retusa is found in habitats with favorable warm climate, e.g. sun-exposed edges of the forests, on forest clearings, on clear cuttings and in vineyards. The development takes place in dry wood of oak (Quercus), vine (Vitis vinifera) and occasionally in chestnut (Castanea sativa). In Germany the species is not common or even rare and is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

Anogcodes ustulata (F., 1787)
Anogcodes ustulata
The distribution of the 8 to 12 mm large false blister beetle Anogcodes ustulata (family Oedemeridae) spreads from Southern and Central Europe to Siberia. In Germany no records exist from Hesse, Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein and the largest parts of Lower Saxony (only old records from the Weser-Ems region). There are only historical records from Saxony and the Rhineland. The beetles are normally found during summer on flowers and are easily discovered due to their conspicuous coloration. The species exhibits a marked sexual dimorphism. The larvae develop in wood of various deciduous trees. In the Red List of Germany (1998) the species is classified under the synonym Nacerdes ustulata as vulnerable (RL 3). (KR)

Callidium violaceum (L., 1758)
Callidium violaceum
The Violet Longhorn Beetle Callidium violaceum (family Cerambycidae) is one out of three species of the genus in Europe. Due to its size and distinctive coloration the species cannot be confused with any other beetle of our fauna. The original distribution stretches from Western Europe over Central Europe up to the Arctic Circle and far into the East to Korea and Japan. Today, its distribution is regarded as holarctic. The larvae develop in pinewood, especially pine (Pinus), spruce (Picea), larch (Larix) and fir (Abies), but are occasionally found in hardwoods, too. The beetle also accepts obstructed wood for egg deposition, if humidity is sufficient and at least remains of the bark are present. The development takes place under the bark of dead trunks or strong branches. The entire development cycle takes 2 years. (KR/CB)

Neomida haemorrhoidalis (F., 1787)
Neomida haemorrhoidalis
The distribution of the 5.5 to 6 mm large darkling beetle Neomida haemorrhoidalis (family Tenebrionidae) reaches from Europe to the Caucasus. The species is considered as a relic species of primeval forests. In the past, there were only records from the mountain range of South Germany. Fortunately, the species was able to expand its range a little over the last years in Germany. The larvae develop in touchwood (Fomes fomentarius), which occurs mainly on beech (Fagus sylvatica). They are most easily observed at night when they leave the touchwood and sit on it or in the immediate environs. Males and females show a remarkable sexual dimorphism. The males exhibit two clearly visible, towering horns on top of their head, which are lacking in the females. (KR/CB)

Aphodius scrofa (F., 1787)
Aphodius scrofa
The dung beetle Aphodius scrofa (family Scarabaeidae) is distributed in Southern and Central Europe. In Central Europe the 3 to 3.5 mm large species is found primarily in sandy areas of the lowlands and the adjacent low mountain range. The distribution in Germany is rather localized. There are no records from Wurttemberg, Saarland and the Weser-Ems region. In Westphalia the species is missing since the 19th century. Altogether, it is sporadic and rare in Germany and is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). Contrary to its scientific name, suggesting that the species occurs primarily in the dung of wild boars (Sus scrofa), the beetle is found in sheep and horse dung, but also in human excrements, mainly on sandy, arid spots. (KR)

Prasocuris phellandrii (L., 1758)
Prasocuris phellandrii
The 5 to 6 mm large leaf beetle Prasocuris phellandrii (family Chrysomelidae) occurs in almost all of Europe, parts of Asia and the North American continent. In Central Europe the beetle is widespread. The beetles are found from February to September and again in November, in wetlands and swamps, usually on the breeding plants or on different flowers, like the yellow flowers of marsh marigold (Caltha palustris). The larvae develop in the stems of aquatic Umbelliferae such as water hemlock (Cicuta virosa) and vines umbel (Oenanthe crocata). In Central Europe four other species of this genus can be found. They all have a very similar, aquatic lifestyle, like Prasocuris phellandrii. (KR)

Mitoplinthus caliginosus (F., 1775)
Mitoplinthus caliginosus
The 6 to 9 mm large Hop Root Weevil Mitoplinthus caliginosus (family Curculionidae) is widespread in Western Europe and the western parts of Central Europe. Possibly the larvae live on herbaceous roots. But the available data on their development differ from each other, and possibly none of them is true. The larva is reported to develop on the roots of hops (Humulus) and also on those of sorrel (Rumex). Due to their nocturnal lifestyle, the beetles are usually found under stones or dead wood, or they fall into ground traps. Since the beetles were found on rotten root wood, the evidence suggests that at least the beetles feed on rotten root wood, possibly the larvae too. (KR)

Platycis cosnardi (Chevr., 1829)
Platycis cosnardi
The 7 to 8 mm large netwinged beetle Platycis cosnardi (family Lycidae) occurs in Central and Southeastern Europe (from France to the Ukraine and Greece, but missing in Italy). It is mainly, but not exclusively found in montane regions and their foothills in warm locations, like clear cuttings and south-facing edges of the forests. The stenotopic species develops in decaying wood of deciduous trees, mainly beech, but also in oak and birch. The larva is predacious and feeds on other insects and their larvae. The beetles can be found in May on flowers and freshly cut wood. In Germany, Platycis cosnardi is widespread, but rare and is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)

Carabus silvestris Panz., 1796
Carabus silvestris
The distribution of the Ground Beetle Carabus silvestris (family Carabidae) is limited to the highlands and high mountains of Central Europe, France (Vosges), Germany, Switzerland, Austria, to the northern Carpathians in Romania and the Ukraine. In Germany the northernmost occurrence is in the Harz Mountains. In the Alps it rises to 2500 m above sea level. The beetles live mainly in coniferous forests, and, like most Ground Beetles, prey for worms, snails and insect larvae, and is therefore regarded as beneficial insect. It is not listed in the Red List of Germany. The species is not endangered, but due to its usefulness it is protected by Federal Law in Germany. (KR)

Ptosima flavoguttata (Ill., 1803)
Ptosima flavoguttata
The metallic wood-boring beetle Ptosima flavoguttata (family Buprestidae) shows a circummediterranean distribution from Northern Africa and Southern Europe across the south of Central Europe to Southern Russia. In Germany it is endangered (RL 2), reaching the northernmost border of its range of distribution with isolated occurrences in xerothermic locations like the Kaiserstuhl (South Baden), the Moselle and Nahe valley (Rhineland-Palatinate) and the Rhine valley in Hesse. The larvae develop in shrubs and trees of the rose family (Rosaceae), mainly in branches and stems of ailing blackthorn (Prunus spinosa). The beetles can be found swarming around the bushes in the midday heat or sitting on the leaves of the host plant or in the surrounding area at cooler weather. (KR)

Meloe rugosus Marsh., 1802
Meloe rugosus
The distribution of the rugged oil beetle Meloe rugosus (family Meloidae) spreads from Central Europe to the Middle East and the East Palearctic region. In Germany the species does not occur in the north and there are only old records from Brandenburg and Northern Rhineland-Palatinate. M. rugosus is found on wet grassland in floodplains but also in dryer habitats. Like other Blister beetles, their larvae complete a very complex development cycle (hypermetamorphosis) as a parasite in the nests of wild bees. The main activity is from September to November, totally from August to May of the following year. The beetle hibernates. Like many other blister beetles in Germany, M. rugosus suffered huge area losses and is consequently classified as critically endangered (RL 1). (KR)

Rhamnusium bicolor (Schrk., 1781)
Rhamnusium bicolor
The longhorn beetle Rhamnusium bicolor (family Cerambycidae) is widespread in most of Europe with the exception of the British Isles, Spain and the Mediterranean islands. In the North it reaches Southern Finland and in the East it reaches to the Caucasus. The 15 to 23 mm large beetle is quite variable. In addition to the most common form with a red head and pronotum and blue-black elytra, there are all-yellow or brown-colored specimens, plus some transitions between the dark and the light form. The development takes place mainly in hollow trees of willow (Salix), poplar (Populus), beech (Fagus) and horse chestnut (Aesculus). The duration of activity of the beetles is only about 14 days in June/July. During the day the beetles sit on their host trees and become active at dusk. (KR)

Donacia sparganii Ahr., 1810
Donacia sparganii
The 7 to 8 mm large Aquatic Leaf Beetle Donacia sparganii (family Chrysomelidae) is widespread in Northern and Central Europe. The origin of the beetle's scientific name is its host plant Sparganium simplex (Sparganiaceae), on which both the beetle and its larvae feed and develop. Due to severe habitat loss over the recent years, Donacia sparganii has become increasingly rare and is regarded as vulnerable in Germany. Most of the loss of diversified reeds is due to water pollution and enrichment with nitrogen compounds (e.g. from fertilizers). But also the increasing use by fishers, surfers and other visitors caused destructions to those habitats. (KR)

Gasterocercus depressirostris (F., 1792)
Gasterocercus depressirostris
The oak bark weevil Gasterocercus depressirostris (family Curculionidae) varies considerably in length (4-11 mm) and does not develop - contrary to most other representatives of the family - on herbaceous plants, but in a 2-year development cycle in the wood of ailing oaks or rarely in beech. The species is nocturnal and appears in July and August. Its brindled squamation provides an excellent camouflage on oak bark. Gasterocercus depressirostris is found in native forests and is known to occur in Central Europe from France to Romania. In Germany recent records have been reported from Baden, the Palatinate, Hesse, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and the Niederelbe region. The species is regarded as critically endangered (RL 1). (CB)

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