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Featured species

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

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26.02.2021
Chrysobothris solieri Lap. Gory, 1837
Chrysobothris solieri
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The genus Chrysobothris belongs to the jewel beetles (family Buprestidae). There are four representatives of the genus in Germany. With 7 to 12 mm size, C. solieri is among the smaller species of the genus. The 2-year development cycle takes place in the wood of ailing or newly dead pine (Pinus), especially Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) in trunks and branches of diameters up to 15 cm. The infestation can be recognized by the brownish discoloration of the needles. At the end of the development the larvae hibernate in the puparium and pupate in the following year. The beetles are markedly thermophilous. The can be found during the warmest hours of the day on the host trees, where they escape swiftly when disturbed. In Germany, the species is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). In the recent years, the species extended its range to the north. (KR)

19.02.2021
Acanthocinus aedilis (L., 1758)
Acanthocinus aedilis
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The 12 to 20 mm large timberman beetle Acanthocinus aedilis (family Cerambycidae) is the most common species of the genus in Germany. The antennae of the female are around two times of the body length, those of the male even around five times. The stenotopic species lives in temperate to cold-temperate climate, Europe to North Balkan, the Caucasus, Siberia, Mongolia and China. It occurs in coniferous and mixed forests from the lowlands to the mountains. The diurnal beetles can be found on recently felled logs of pine. They feed on needles, bast fiber and bark of their host trees. The larvae develop within 1-2 years under the bark of pine, occasionally fir, spruce and larch. The hatch in autumn and hibernate in their puparium. In Germany recent records are known from virtually all Federal States. The species is not endangered. (CB)

12.02.2021
Hoplia argentea (Poda, 1761)
Hoplia argentea
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15 
The 9 to 11 mm large Hoplia argentea (family Scarabaeidae) is one of four species of the genus currently recorded in Germany. The species ranges from the southern parts of Central Europe to Southeast Europe and prefers montane regions. In Germany its occurrence is limited to the Alps and their foothills, the Bavarian Forest, the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest as well as the Lower Elbe region. Hoplia argentea is not endangered in Germany. It lives in open habitats with hedgerows, on meadows and at the edges of forests. The beetles feed on pollen, whereas their larvae live in the ground and feed on plant roots. The development cycle takes two years. The intense color of the beetles is caused by reflection of sunlight by their scales, the very same mechanism as in butterflies (interference color). (CB)

05.02.2021
Trox perlatus (Goeze, 1777)
Trox perlatus
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With a size of 7 to 10 mm Trox perlatus is among the largest representatives of the genus in Germany. In the past, the hide beetles (family Trogidae) were regarded as a subfamily of the family Scarabaeidae. Trox perlatus is a stenotopic and thermophilous species, which feeds on dry carrion, bones, fur and fur remains as well as hairballs. Occasionally the beetles can be found on excrements, mainly of dogs. Contrary to the other Central European representatives of the genus, it can be easily recognized by the shiny tubercles on the elytra and is unmistakable with any other Trox species in our domestic fauna. Trox perlatus is known to occur in Western and Southern Europe. In Germany the species is found only in the western part in warm and dry habitats and is generally regarded as rare and endangered (RL 2). (KR)

29.01.2021
Bledius tricornis (Hbst., 1784)
Bledius tricornis
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The 5.5 to 7 mm large rove beetle Bledius tricornis (family Staphylinidae) is one of 40 representatives of the genus in Germany, which are not easily distinguished. The stenotopic species is known to occur in the southern Palearctic, from Southern Europe to the southern part of Northern Europe, Asia Minor, the Caucasus to South Siberia and China. The beetles are halotolerant, they can be found both on the coast and in the inland on sandy and loamy substrates. The front legs are of the fossorial type. The beetles dig burrow systems into the soil. When flushed with water, they come to the surface. Presumably they feed on algae. On warm days, the beetles swarm during dusk and are attracted to light sources. Bledius tricornis is recorded from virtually all Federal States, but is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

22.01.2021
Eustrophus dermestoides (F., 1792)
Eustrophus dermestoides
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The 4 to 5 mm large false darkling beetle Eustrophus dermestoides (family Melandryidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. The genus is of holarctic distribution with one species in North America and three in the Palearctic. Eustrophus dermestoides ranges from Southern over Central Europe to Finland, Poland and the Baltic states. The stenotopic, mycetobiont species prefers deciduous forests and parks as habitat. They can be mainly found on the sulphur shelf (Laetiporus sulphureus) on deciduous trees, e.g. oak (Quercus), beech (Fagus) and willow (Salix). The adults appear from late spring to summer and are nocturnal. At first sight, they resemble skin beetles of genus Dermestes. In Germany, there are only old records from a number of Federal States and the species is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

15.01.2021
Anthicus bimaculatus (Ill., 1801)
Anthicus bimaculatus
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The 3 to 3.5 mm large antlike flower beetle Anthicus bimaculatus (family Anthicidae) is one of five representatives of the genus in Germany. Worldwide, the genus Anthicus is present in all terrestrial ecozones. The distribution of the stenotopic, psammophilic Anthicus bimaculatus ranges from France over Germany, Poland and the Baltic states to Russia. Its yellow, brownish and black coloration serves as a good camouflage in its habitat, sandy edges of water bodies, both sea and inland fresh water, as well as sandy dunes, mostly at the roots of grasses and in detritus. During the day the beetles hide in the sandy substrate. At dusk the leave their hiding places in search for food. In Germany recent records are known from many Federal States, with the exception of the southeast. Anthicus bimaculatus is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

08.01.2021
Niptus hololeucus (Fald., 1836)
Niptus hololeucus
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The 4 to 4.5 mm large Niptus hololeucus (family Ptinidae) earned its vernacular name Golden Spider Beetle due to its shiny metallic color. The synanthropic species was introduced from Russia to England for the first time in 1833 and spread from there around the world. They can be found in old buildings, e.g. timber-framed houses and multi-story buildings with wooden beam ceilings. They live and develop mainly in straw, which was used as filling and insulation material. They are nocturnal and hide in cracks and crevices during the day. Often the tenants are not aware of their presence at all, until renovation work is carried out which liberates the beetles from the wooden ceilings. Although they are regarded as a mechanical pest, the damages are only minor and they should rather be seen as nuisance pest. The species is not endangered. (KR)

01.01.2021
Ochina latreillei (Bon., 1809)
Ochina latreillei
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With its orange spots at the apex of the elytra, the 2.5 to 3.8 mm large Ochina latreillei (family Anobiidae) is among the most colorful species of the family, which comprises otherwise mainly inconspicuous brown and black representatives. The stenotopic species develops in dry, decaying wood of oak (Quercus), maple (Acer) and elm (Ulmus). The beetles can be found during spring on dead branches and on blossoming bushes, mainly on hawthorn (Crataegus) by using a beating try. In Germany, there are only few records, mainly from the south. Recent records exist from Baden, Hesse and Rhineland, historic records also from Bavaria. They do only occur in regions with favorable warm climate, e.g. at the Kaiserstuhl in South Baden and in the lower Nahe valley. In Germany, Ochina latreillei is regarded as critically endangered (RL 1). (KR)

25.12.2020
Lixus filiformis (F., 1781)
Lixus filiformis
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The 4 to 9.5 mm large weevil Lixus filiformis (family Curculionidae) is one of 15 representatives currently occurring in Germany. The species ranges from North Africa over Europe (without the North) to Asia Minor and Central Asia. The beetles live in warm habitats on ruderal sites, e.g. fallow land and industrial wasteland. They are oligophagous and develop in various thistle species (Carduus, Cirsium). At the end of May, the females deposit their eggs at the stalk and roots of their host. The larvae pupate in August in the lower part of the stalk in a sealed cell made from raspings. They hatch in September, hibernate in the stalk and appear in May of the following year. In Germany, Lixus filiformis is not endangered. In the North, it is still rare, but expanding. In the South it is among the more common Lixus species. (CB)

18.12.2020
Colydium elongatum (F., 1787)
Colydium elongatum
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The 5 to 7 mm large cylindrical bark beetle Colydium elongatum (family Colydiidae) is one of the species of the genus in Germany and is very similar to its sister species C. filiforme. Colydium elongatum is known to occur from the southern Part of North Europe and the British Isles over Central Europe to South Russia and the Balkan. The beetles live in deciduous and coniferous forests under the bark and in decaying wood of various deciduous trees and conifers (oak, beech, spruce, fir, and others). The nocturnal beetles prey on the larvae of various bark beetle species. Presumably the larvae are predacious too, possibly the also feed on fungi growing in the galleries of their prey. In Germany, recent records are known from most Federal States. However, Colydium elongatum is still regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

11.12.2020
Oxylaemus cylindricus (Panz., 1796)
Oxylaemus cylindricus
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The 2.8 to 3.4 mm large dry bark beetle Oxylaemus cylindricus (family Bothrideridae) is one of the two species of the genus in Germany. It can be distinguished from the very similar O. variolosus by the sculpture of the pronotum. O. cylindricus is known to occur in Southern and Central Europe and is regarded as an Urwald relic species. The stenotopic, silvicolous beetles live under the bark and in decaying wood of dead oaks, often near ants (Lasius sp.) and in the galleries of bark beetles, where they prey on bark beetles (Xyleborus) and moss mites (Oribatida). In Germany the species is very rare and critically endangered (RL 1), although the number of records in the Upper Rhine valley increased since the mid 1990's. The beetles swarm in early summer and can be recorded by using an autokatcher. (CB)

04.12.2020
Calosoma sycophanta (L., 1758)
Calosoma sycophanta
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With a size of 20 to 30 mm the forest caterpillar hunter Calosoma sycophanta is among the largest ground beetles (family Carabidae) of our fauna and is also one of the most colorful. Its distribution ranges from North Africa over Europe, Asia Minor and Central Asia to the Tian Shan Mountains. It has been introduced to North America as biological control agent. Both beetles and larvae are voracious hunters of caterpillars of the Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar), occasionally of Black Arches (L. monacha) and other Lymantriidae, and of Thaumetopoea (Processionary Moths). In case of outbreaks, the beetles fly from considerable distances to the site of the calamity. They reach up to three years in age in the wild and up to 5 years in captivity. In Germany, C. sycophanta mainly occurs in the south and is very scattered. It is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (KR)

27.11.2020
Attagenus punctatus (Scop., 1772)
Attagenus punctatus
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The 3.5 to 5.5 mm large skin beetle Attagenus punctatus (family Dermestidae) is one of five Attagenus species permanently established in Germany. With its white, scaly patches the species is unmistakable. The silvicolous species ranges from Southern Europe to the southern part of Northern Europe. In the east it reaches the Caucasus. The beetles live in deciduous forests, parks and gardens. The larva develops in sun-exposed hollow trees, mainly oak (Quercus) and hornbeam (Carpinus) and feeds on insect debris. The beetles can be found during spring on blossoming bushes, mainly hawthorn (Crataegus), where they feed on pollen. Both adults and larvae hibernate. In Germany, recent records are known from the southern half as well as from Brandenburg and the lower Elbe region. Attagenus punctatus is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)

20.11.2020
Onthophagus taurus (Schreb., 1759)
Onthophagus taurus
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With 5.5 to 11.5 mm in size, Onthophagus taurus is among the largest representatives of the genus and belongs to the coprophilous species of the scarab beetles (family Scarabaeidae). Large males exhibit two conspicuous, curved horns extending from the forehead, while small males often just have two small, straight horns. The beetles can be found in the dung of sheep and cattle. They dig deep burrows underneath the excrement and bury portions of the droppings in chambers, where the female deposits one egg each. The grub feeds on the dung and finally pupates in the chamber. The beetle hatches in the same year and hibernates in the chamber. Onthophagus taurus is known to occur in most regions in Germany, but disappeared from some locations. Similar to its closely related sister species O. illyricus, it is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (KR)

13.11.2020
Dicerca berolinensis (Hbst., 1779)
Dicerca berolinensis
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The 20 to 24 mm large jewel beetle Dicerca berolinensis (family Buprestidae) is one of the large representatives of the family in Germany. Both the beetles scientific and German vernacular name originate from the city of Berlin. In Germany, the Eurosiberian species is known to occur in the southern Federal States and in Brandenburg. It develops in the wood of ailing or dead European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). The larvae live in the wood of large-sized branches or the trunk itself, preferably in sun-exposed parts. The development cycle takes three to four years, the pupation takes place in the wood. The diurnal, highly thermophilic species can be found on the trunk and branches of the populated trees in the sun. In Germany, D. berolinensis is regarded as endangered (RL 2) und protected by Federal law. (KR)

06.11.2020
Achenium depressum (Grav., 1802)
Achenium depressum
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The 7.5 to 8.5 mm large rove beetle Achenium depressum (family Staphylinidae) is besides A. humile one of only two representatives of the genus in Germany. After the revision of Assing (2010), the mainly southern palearctic genus comprises 53 valid species. In Morocco (15) and Spain (12) they reach their greatest diversity of species. Achenium depressum is of Adriato-Mediterranean distribution and ranges from South Italy to South England and Southern Russia. The stenotopic, hygrophilous species prefers unforested habitats alongside rivers and lakes from the planar to the montane zone. Most beetles are found during spring and during flooding under stones. Their habitat is subterranean, mostly soil with permanent crevices and holes. In Germany, A. depressum only occurs in the southwest and is regarded as critically endangered (RL 1). (CB)

30.10.2020
Paracardiophorus musculus (Er., 1840)
Paracardiophorus musculus
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The 5.8 to 7.8 mm large click beetle Paracardiophorus musculus (family Elateridae) belongs to the subfamily Cardiophorinae, which exhibits a very characteristic heart-shaped scutellum. It is the only representative of the genus in Germany. The species is known to occur from North Africa over Europe, parts of the Mediterranean Region and Asia Minor to Siberia and Japan. The stenotopic, psammophilous beetles live on sandy ground from the planar to the montane zone in river meadows and at the edges of standing waters. The larva develops in sandy or sandy-loamy ground. The beetles can be found from May to July on bushes (willow, alder) and lower vegetation at shady places. In Germany Paracardiophorus musculus is missing from the northwestern Federal States and is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)

23.10.2020
Thymalus limbatus (F., 1787)
Thymalus limbatus
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The 5 to 7 mm large shield beetle Thymalus limbatus (family Peltidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. At first sight, its habitus resembles a leaf beetle of the genus Cassida. In total three Thymalus species are known in Europe. Meanwhile, the family Peltidae has been included as subfamily Peltinae into Trogositidae. Thymalus limbatus is known to occur in North Africa and Europe. The eurytopic, mycetophilous species lives in deciduous and mixed forests, at the edges of forests and in parks, from the planar to the montane zone. The nocturnal beetles are saproxylic and feed on fungi on or under the bark of beech (Fagus), occasionally oak (Quercus), elm (Ulmus) and birch (Betula). In Germany, recent records are known from most Federal States. However, Thymalus limbatus is regarded as rare and vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

16.10.2020
Clerus mutillarius F., 1775
Clerus mutillarius
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The 9 to 15 mm large Checkered Beetle Clerus mutillarius (family Cleridae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. The stenotopic, xylodetricolous species is known to occur from North Africa, Southern Europe and the southern part of Central Europe to Russia and Hungary. In Germany, the species is limited to a few regions in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, the Palatinate and Hesse. The beetles can be found in May and June on wood of deciduous trees, especially on oak wood stacks infested by wood-boring insects. They move swiftly and occasionally fly. They prey on other insects. With their mandibles they can deliver a nip when handled incautiously. In Germany, Clerus mutillarius is very rare and critically endangered (RL 1). It is strictly protected by the Federal Regulation for the Protection of Species. (CB)

09.10.2020
Benibotarus taygetanus (Pic, 1905)
Benibotarus taygetanus
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The 9 to 10 mm large net-winged beetle Benibotarus taygetanus is the rarest representative of the net-winged beetles (family Lycidae) in our fauna. The family comprises around 3500 species globally, mainly in the (sub-) tropical region; in Germany only seven species are known to occur. Benibotarus taygetanus can be distinguished from the more common sister species Dictyopterus aurora by the two elevated, curved ribs on the elytra and the yellow apex of the 11th member of the antenna. The stenotopic, silvicolous species occurs in Central and parts of Eastern Europe. It is usually found in forests, at forest edges and on heathland, from the planar to the montane zone. In Germany, records are only known from Bavaria, Württemberg and the Palatinate. Benibotarus taygetanus is regarded as critically endangered (RL 1). (CB)

02.10.2020
Claviger testaceus Preyssl., 1790
Claviger testaceus
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The 2.1 to 2.3 mm large short-winged mold beetle Claviger testaceus (family Pselaphidae) is one of only two representatives of the western palearctic genus in Germany. It can be distinguished from its rarer sister species by the thick, short antennae. Claviger testaceus is known to occur in Central and Northern Europe and prefers warm and dry slopes, grazing pastures on limestone, quarries and dry edges of forests. The species is highly adapted to the life with ants of the genera Lasius and Myrmica and can't survive outside the ant nest. The eyes are atrophied. The beetle excretes a secretion highly attractive to the ants, which in turn feed the beetle. The beetle also feeds on the larvae of ants. In Germany, Claviger testaceus is widespread but not very common and is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

25.09.2020
Elaphrus uliginosus F., 1775
Elaphrus uliginosus
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The 7.5 to 9.5 mm large ground beetle Elaphrus uliginosus (family Carabidae) is one of twelve representatives of the holarctic genus Elaphrus in Europe. Five species also occur in Germany. It can be distinguished from its similar sister species by the shiny blue feet and dark tibiae. The stenotopic, hygrophilous species is macropterous and capable of flight. Elaphrus uliginosus is of palearctic distribution and is known to occur throughout Europe with the far North and South. It is widespread in Central Europe, but becomes rarer towards the South. The beetles can be found from the planar to the altimontane zone on silting-ups of standing water bodies and managed wetland meadows. In Germany, recent records are known from all Federal States, but Elaphrus uliginosus is not often found and is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)

18.09.2020
Ceutorhynchus scapularis Gyll., 1837
Ceutorhynchus scapularis
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The 2.1 to 2.7 mm large weevil Ceutorhynchus scapularis (family Curculionidae) is one of the approx. 60 representatives of the genus in Germany. The conspicuous squamation of the pronotum allows a relatively easy determination of the species in the otherwise often difficult genus. C. scapularis occurs in Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe to Siberia. The stenotopic, ripicolous species lives on sandy edges of lakes and riverbanks and drying-up cut-off meanders. It develops oligophagous on Greater Yellowcress (Rorippa amphibian) and occasionally on Bog Yellowcress (R. palustris). The beetles can be found near their host plants from April on, but don't climb up the plants and can be found only by systematic search. Known from most Federal States in Germany but rare and regarded as near threatened (RL V). (CB)

11.09.2020
Pachybrachis picus Weise, 1882
Pachybrachis picus
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The 3 to 3.8 mm large Scriptured Leaf Beetle Pachybrachis (family Chrysomelidae) belongs to the species-rich genus Pachybrachis, which can be subdivided in the subgenera Pachybrachis s. str. and Chloropachys. The genus Pachybrachys s. str. comprises around 200 species in the Nearctic and 150 in the Palearctic, thereof 51 in Europe and 7 in Germany. Pachybrachis picus occurs in southern Central Europe, from North Spain over Central France and South Germany to Hungary and Central Italy. It prefers warm slopes, sun-exposed edges of forests and sunny river meadows. The stenotopic, thermophilous species develops on hazel (Corylus) and shrubs of the rose family (Rosaceae). In Germany, P. picus is missing in the northern half and is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). The determination of the species is often not easy. (CB)


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