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


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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)

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)

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