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


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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)

Bembidion striatum (F., 1792)
Bembidion striatum
The ground beetle Bembidion striatum is a representative of the countless number of species in the genus Bembidion (family Carabidae). Its distribution spreads from France to West Siberia. The beetle is mostly found in lowland regions. The 5.3 to 6.5 mm large beetle is critically endangered in Germany (RL 1) because many of its habitats have been destroyed through river regulation. The beetle requires open shore areas with fine to coarse sandy ground, which are still present along the larger rivers in Germany, but nowadays often very isolated. On such locations the beetles can be observed during springtime in warm and sunny weather, where they run around quickly and fly up swiftly when disturbed. (KR)

Allonyx quadrimaculatus (Schall., 1783)
Allonyx quadrimaculatus
The 4.5 to 6 mm large Checkered beetle Allonyx quadrimaculatus is one of the rarest species of the Checkered beetles (family Cleridae) in Central Europe. Its distribution spreads from Central and Southern Europe to Asia Minor. Till today the larva is unknown. The beetles prefer pine (Pinus), but sometimes can also be observed on spruce (Picea) and deciduous trees. Both beetle and larvae possibly prey on the larvae of several saproxylic beetles, such as the Jewel beetle Phaenops cyanea. The beetles can be observed crawling swiftly on dead or dying trees during the day and the night. In Germany, they are regarded as critically endangered. (KR)

Mordellochroa milleri Em., 1876
Mordellochroa milleri
The 5.0 to 6.3 mm large tumbling flower beetle Mordellochroa milleri (family Mordellidae) was considered as a species of Southeastern Europe and France. In 2000, the species was reported from Bavaria for the first time in Germany. Records from Baden-Württemberg followed in 2009. It seems that Mordellochroa milleri migrates downstream along River Rhine, as there are meanwhile reports from Rhineland-Palatinate. It is one of three distinctive species of the genus Mordellochroa. With its striking yellow-red coloration with black eyes, elytra and tarsi it is one of the few species of the family, which are easily determined. The larvae develop in rotten wood of various trees, the beetles can be found on flowers feeding on pollen. (TH/KR)

Ampedus cardinalis (Schdte., 1865)
Ampedus cardinalis
The click beetle Ampedus cardinalis (family Elateridae) belongs with its 12 to 15.5 mm in size to the larger species of the genus. It is one of many red-colored species that are difficult in determination. The distribution within Europe stretches from the southern part of Northern Europe across Central to Western Europe. The larvae require red-rotted hollow trees of living oak (Quercus) and do accept other deciduous trees only very rarely. Due to the loss of such habitats, the species in Central Europe is rare and therefore is classified in the red list of Germany as critically endangered to extinct. It is said, that the beetles are nocturnal. (KR)

Lycoperdina succincta (L., 1767)
Lycoperdina succincta
The distribution of the Handsome Fungus Beetle Lycoperdina succincta (family Endomychidae) stretches from Denmark and Sweden over Central Europe and Southeastern Europe to Eastern Europe. In Germany it is recorded from most parts of the country, but from some parts there are only old records. Habitats are open, sparsely vegetated places, such as slowly overgrowing heathland. The larvae develop in puffballs (Lycoperdon and Vascellum) and earthstars (Geastrum). The pupa is found from September, the new beetles from October in the fungus. The beetles hibernate, usually in the fungi, in the spore mass. In the German Red List it is classified as endangered. (KR)

Lichenophanes varius (Ill., 1801)
Lichenophanes varius
The distribution of the Bostrichid beetle Lichenophanes varius is the Western Palearctic. It is one of a small number of representatives of Bostrichid beetles (family Bostrichidae) in Central Europe and with 8 to 12 mm body length, one of the large species of this family. In Central Europe the rare species survived from the time of the primeval forests. The eggs are laid in dead, standing beech (Fagus sylvatica). The larva lives for several years, mainly in the dry wood of trunks and thick branches. During daytime the beetles hide in the burrows of the larvae and leave them only at night. After dark, they can be very well observed by using a torch light. (KR)

Sisyphus schaefferi (L., 1758)
Sisyphus schaefferi
The distribution of the 6.5 to 12 mm large Dung beetle Sisyphus schaefferi (family Scarabaeidae), very closely related to the bigger Dung Beetles of the genus Scarabaeus, stretches over Southern and Central Europe. The beetles prefer sheep dung. They form a pill of the dung and roll it to a suitable place, where they bury it. For each dung pill a hatchery is made. The dung pill is changed into the form of a pear and an egg is placed in it. In contrast to the species of the genus Copris no brood care, but only maternal care is practiced. The beetles themselves feed on dung, too, but unlike the Scarabs do not produce a dung pill to feed on, but eat the dung on the spot. (KR)

Spondylis buprestoides (L., 1758)
Spondylis buprestoides
For a Longhorn Beetle Spondylis buprestoides (family Cerambycidae) looks rather strange. The antennae of the 12 to 24 mm long beetles are rather short and just reach the rear edge of the pronotum, contrary to other Longhorn Beetles with antennae of almost body length. The cylindrical body shape makes it look even stranger. The development takes place mainly in pine (Pinus), but also in spruce (Picea), fir (Abies) and larch (Larix). The beetles can be found in summer mostly on and under timber wood. Although they are primarily nocturnal and usually hide during daytime, the beetle can be occasionally observed flying to timber wood on warm summer days. (KR)

Leistus spinibarbis (F., 1775)
Leistus spinibarbis
The distribution of the 7.7 to 10.4 mm large Ground Beetle Leistus spinibarbis (family Carabidae) stretches across the Mediterranean region, Southwest and Central Europe. Habitats of the beetles are warm and dry biotopes, such as Calluna heathland and dry and sunny slopes of the lower altitudes. The beetles do even occur in the low mountain range in suitable habitats, but do not go up too far. Confusion with L. fulvibarbis and L. rufomarginatus is possible. However, the latter prefer completely different habitats. Leistus spinibarbis has noticeably lost habitats in Germany over the last few years and was therefore included in the German Red List as "V" (vulnerable). (KR)

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)

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