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Featured species

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

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26.06.2020
Silis ruficollis (F., 1775)
Silis ruficollis
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8 
The 6 to 7.5 mm large soldier beetle Silis ruficollis (family Cantharidae) is the more common of the two representatives of the genus in Germany. The male with its red, deeply notched and coarsely punctate pronotum is easily recognized. The pronotum of the rarer sister species Silis Nitidula exhibits rounded hind angles. Silis ruficollis is widespread in Europe and prefers habitats in the lowlands, especially wet areas, fens and reedbeds. The beetles can be found on reed, willows and blossoms from late June to July, occasionally until August. In Germany, Silis ruficollis has been recorded from virtually all Federal States, but is rarely observed. Only in the North and East German plain it is slightly more common. Silis ruficollis is not regarded as endangered and is not listed in the Red List of endangered species of Germany. (CB)

19.06.2020
Ptinus rufipes Ol., 1790
Ptinus rufipes
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23 
The 3 to 5 mm large spider beetle Ptinus rufipes (family Ptinidae) is one of 16 representatives of the genus currently known to occur in Germany. The species ranges from virtually entire Europe to northern Russia and the Caucasus. The development takes place in wood of deciduous trees, e.g. oak (Quercus), beech (Fagus), hornbeam (Carpinus), linden (Tilia), elm (Ulmus) and hazel (Corylus) infested with white rot. Contrary to other representatives of the genus, the larva does not only feed on the leftovers of other insects, but on the wood itself. Like many Ptinidae, Ptinus rufipes exhibits a marked sexual dimorphism: The elytra of the female are rounded oval and covered with scales, whereas the male is elongate and without scales. In Germany, Ptinus rufipes is the most common Ptinus species and present in all Federal States. (CB)

12.06.2020
Xestobium rufovillosum (DeGeer, 1774)
Xestobium rufovillosum
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21 
The 5 to 9 mm large Death watch beetle Xestobium rufovillosum (family Anobiidae) is the largest representative of the family in Germany. During the mating season the male creates a ticking sound by knocking its head against wood to attract potential mates. In quiet rooms, such as sickrooms or formerly during the death watch, the ticking sound can be perceived by humans, earning the beetle its vernacular name. The development cycle takes 2-3 years in deciduous or coniferous wood, which exhibits a certain level of humidity and is infested with fungi. Hence, X. rufovillosum can be regarded as secondary pest. Initially occurring in Europe, the species has been introduced to North America and Australia. In Germany, recent records are known from all Federal States and Xestobium rufovillosum is not endangered. (CB)

05.06.2020
Lixus bardanae (F., 1787)
Lixus bardanae
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31 
The 8 to 12 mm large weevil Lixus bardanae (family Curculionidae) is one of 15 representatives of the genus in Germany. In Europe more than 70 species are known. Its distribution ranges from Spain to Asia Minor and the Caucasus. L. bardanae lives on bunches of Western Dock (Rumex aquaticus) and Great Water Dock (R. hydrolapathum) standing in the water. Therefore it is best observed from aboard a boat. The larvae develop in the stems of the Dock, where they also pupate. Young specimens owe their attractive appearance to the covering with fine yellow dust, which wears off quickly in collected specimens. In Germany, the stenotopic, paludicolous species is nowhere really common, although it is less rare in the northern part. Lixus bardanae is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3) (text/photos: Michael Stern). (MS)

29.05.2020
Lyctus cavicollis Lec., 1805
Lyctus cavicollis
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20 
The 2.5 to 5 mm large Western Powder-post Beetle Lyctus cavicollis (family Lyctidae) is one of seven representatives of the genus in Germany. Worldwide around 100 species have been described. Two of them are native in Germany and another five have been introduced, among them L. cavicollis, which is meanwhile established in the wild. The species' origin is North America. In 1974 it was introduced for the first time, since the mid 1990's it is established in our fauna. The larvae develop in dry wood of deciduous trees, which they digest with the support of symbiotic microorganisms. Before egg deposition, the female samples the wood by gnawing small marks on the surface. The wood surface is not visibly impaired and an infestation is often only recognized at later stages from the exit holes of the beetles. (CB)

22.05.2020
Xylographus bostrychoides (Duf., 1843)
Xylographus bostrychoides
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25 
The 2 to 2.4 mm large minute tree-fungus beetle Xylographus bostrychoides (family Cisidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany and Europe. The species occurs in the south palearctic ecozone, from North Africa over South Europe and southern Central Europe to the Caucasus and Siberia. In Germany the species was first recorded in 1998. The stenotopic, mycetobiont beetle develops in various bracket fungi, e.g. Tinder Fungus (Fomes fomentarium), Artists Bracket (Ganoderma applanatum) and Southern Bracket (Ganoderma adspersum). So far only recorded from the Upper Rhine valley, further spreading of the species is likely, as the host fungi are widespread and common. Being new to the German beetle fauna, Xylographus bostrychoides is not part of the Red List of endangered species of Germany. (CB)

15.05.2020
Polystichus connexus (Fourcr., 1785)
Polystichus connexus
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26 
In Germany, the 7 to 9 mm large ground beetle Polystichus connexus (family Carabidae) is the only representative of the genus, which is mainly distributed in Eurasia and America. In Europe, another similar and closely related species, P. fasciolatus, is present. P. connexus ranges from North Africa over Southern Europe and southern Central Europe to West Asia and Siberia. The eurytopic and thermophilic species prefers dry to humid grassland, pasture and floodplains. Little is known about its lifestyle, as most discoveries are made either in flood detritus or at light traps. In Germany, the species has been recorded from the Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, and more recently from Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. In our fauna, P. connexus is regarded as extremely rare and/or geographically restricted (RL R). (CB)

08.05.2020
Exapion formaneki (Wagn., 1929)
Exapion formaneki
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24 
The 1.8 to 2.3 mm large apionid weevil Exapion formaneki (family Apionidae) is one of seven representatives of the genus in Germany. The oligophagous species lives on various species of broom (Genista, Cytisus). Depending on the growth stage of the host plant, E. formaneki changes its host plant during the year. The larval development takes place in the fruit pods of the host plant, where the larva also pupates. The new beetle generation hatches between July and September and hibernates in the ground. The stenotopic, xerophilic species prefers warm and dry slopes, warm edges of forests and clearings. It is known to occur in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. In Germany there are records from most Federal States, except from the northwest. E. formaneki is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

01.05.2020
Rhaphitropis oxyacanthae (Bris., 1863)
Rhaphitropis oxyacanthae
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The 2.5 to 3 mm large fungus weevil Rhaphitropis oxyacanthae (family Anthribidae) is the less common of the two representatives of the genus in Germany. The males are distinguished by a conspicuous, flattened tooth on the middle femora. The stenotopic, silvicolous species lives only in very warm habitats and develops in dead branches of deciduous trees, mainly oak (Quercus), but also hazel (Corylus), alder (Alnus), willow (Salix) and beech (Fagus). It is known to occur in Southwest Europe and in the southern part of Central Europe, from the Pyrenees to Poland and Slovakia. In Germany, the only records come from the arid floodplain in the Markgräflerland and from the Kaiserstuhl in South Baden, where the species reaches the northern border of its range. R. oxyacanthae is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)

24.04.2020
Oprohinus suturalis (F., 1775)
Oprohinus suturalis
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The 2.5 to 3.3 mm large onion weevil Oprohinus suturalis (family Curculionidae) is one of two representatives of the genus in Germany. In Europe, the genus comprises four species. The distribution of O. suturalis ranges from North Africa over Europe to Western Asia. The stenotopic, xerophilic species prefers dry lynchets, ruderal sites, gardens and calcareous grassland as habitat. The phyllophagous beetles are oligophagous and develop on onion species (Allium). They can become a pest in cultures of onion (A. cepa) and garlic (A. sativum). The beetles appear in May and feed on the foliage of the hosts. The larvae hatch in June. After 5-6 weeks of feeding on the foliage they pupate in the ground. The new generation appears in August and hibernates. In Germany the species is not endangered. (CB)

17.04.2020
Cryptocephalus coryli (L., 1758)
Cryptocephalus coryli
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The 6 to 7 mm large Hazel pot beetle Cryptocephalus coryli (family Chrysomelidae) belongs to the larger representatives of the approx. 50 species of the genus in Germany. Its distribution ranges from Spain over Central Europe and Russia to Siberia till Korea. The stenotopic, thermophilic species prefers warm slopes and sun-exposed edges of forests. It develops mainly in hazel (Corylus) and birch (Betula). After egg deposition, the females cover the eggs with their own dung and drop them into the leaf litter underneath the bush. After hatching, the larvae continue to add to the pot from their own droppings. When threatened, the larvae retreat into the pot and also hibernate in the pot. In Germany, Cryptocephalus coryli is recorded from most Federal States, but is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

10.04.2020
Menesia bipunctata (Zoubk., 1829)
Menesia bipunctata
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The 6 to 9 mm large longhorn beetle Menesia bipunctata (family Cerambycidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. Its distribution ranges from West France over Russia to the South Ural Mountains and in South Europe from Northeast Italy over Slovenia to Romania. The stenotopic, paludicolous species prefers bogs, fens and wet floodplain forests as habitat. The larvae develop in dead, thin branches of Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus), only occasionally in other deciduous trees. The adults sit on the lower side of the leaves and escape swiftly in warm sunny weather. In Germany, recent records are known from a number of Federal States with an extinction zone in the Rhineland, Northrhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Thuringia. The species is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

03.04.2020
Aphodius satellitius (Hbst., 1789)
Aphodius satellitius
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The 6 to 8 mm large dung beetle Aphodius satellitius (family Scarabaeidae) is one of approximately 60 currently recorded species of the genus Aphodius in Germany. Aphodius satellitius is known to occur in Central and South Europe, North Africa and in to East to the Ural Mountains. Until its rediscovery in the forest Bienwald a few years ago, A. satellitius was deemed extinct in Germany (RL 0). The stenotopic, xerothermophilic species prefers sunny pastures and warm slopes. It develops in dung of cow and horse. It can be distinguished from other, similar species of the genus by its rounded cheeks, the shiny head and pronotum and the auburn elytra with a diffuse black mark at the beginning of the last third. Any records in Germany should be inspected and confirmed by experts. (CB)

27.03.2020
Ips typographus (L., 1758)
Ips typographus
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The 4.1 to 5.5 mm large European spruce bark beetle Ips typographus (family Scolytidae) is one of five species of the genus in Germany. It is known to occur in Europe, Asia Minor, Siberia and in the Far East. In the North it reaches Lapland. As a serious pest they infest mainly spruce (Picea), but also larch (Larix), pine (Pinus) and fir (Abies). The beetles are attracted to vulnerable hosts and communicate with pheromones, so that more beetles are attracted to the already attacked host. The beetles burrow through the weakened bark in order to build tunnels where they mate and lay eggs. Under favorable weather conditions, the development cycle takes six weeks. With three generations per year outbreaks are possible. Prevention and control is done by removing infested and surrounding at-risk trees from the forest. (CB)

20.03.2020
Dirhagus lepidus (Rosh., 1847)
Dirhagus lepidus
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The 4 to 6 mm large false click beetle Dirhagus lepidus (family Eucnemidae) is one of three quite similar species of the genus in Germany. In Europe, 5 species are known to occur. It can be distinguished from its sister species by the prolonged lateral edge of the pronotum and the domed scutellum. The distribution of Dirhagus lepidus ranges from the Pyrenees to Russia. The stenotopic, silvicolous species prefers old deciduous forests. The saproxylobiont larvae develop in decaying wood of old logs, stumps, branches and wood stacks of oak (Quercus), beech (Fagus), willow (Salix), maple (Acer) and alder (Alnus). In Germany, Dirhagus lepidus has been recorded from numerous Federal States, however, records are rare and dispersed and the species is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

13.03.2020
Tenebrio opacus Duft., 1812
Tenebrio opacus
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The 16 to 18 mm large Mealworm beetle Tenebrio opacus (family Tenebrionidae) is the rarest representative of the three species of the genus in Germany. T. opacus is known to occur from the southern part of North Europe to Greece. Contrary to the synanthropic sister species T. molitor and T. obscurus, the stenotopic and xylodetriticolous T. opacus prefers old, hollow trees, mainly oak (Quercus), beech (Fagus) and occasionally common horse chestnut (Aesculus). The larvae develop in the dry, nutrient-rich detritus, interspersed with insect remains, feathers, bones and fungal mycelium. The beetles are nocturnal and appear from May to July. In Germany, Tenebrio opacus has been recorded from most Federal States. However, records are rather rare and the species is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)

06.03.2020
Perileptus areolatus (Creutz., 1799)
Perileptus areolatus
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24 
The 2.2 to 2.8 mm large river shingle beetle Perileptus areolatus (family Carabidae) is the only representative of the genus Perileptus in Germany, which comprises approx. 50 species worldwide. P. areolatus is a Eurosiberian species with occurrences from Europe to West Siberia, in the Mediterranean, Asia Minor and North and East Africa. The stenotopic, hygrophilous and ripicolous species prefers exposed riverine sediments, mainly gravel and shingle, but occasionally they are found on sandy substrates at the edges of stagnant water, e.g. at quarry ponds. They can be sieved from flood debris as well. Both adults and larvae are predaceous. In Germany the species is a relic in the East German lowlands, in the North it is mostly missing. Hence, P. areolatus is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

28.02.2020
Lignyodes enucleator (Panz., 1798)
Lignyodes enucleator
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23 
The 3.4 to 4.7 mm large weevil Lignyodes enucleator (family Curculionidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. In Europe only three species are known, compared to more than 20 in the US. Lignyodes enucleator is known to occur from Spain over Central and Eastern Europe to the Caucasus and Asia Minor. The stenotopic, silvicolous species can be found from end of March to mid of June in warm riverside woodland and parks at low altitudes. The species is monophagous and lives on European ash (Fraxinus excelsior). The larvae develop in the seeds. In October they hatch from the seeds and pupate in the soil. In Germany, recent records exist from the southern states, in the north the species is missing. Lignyodes enucleator is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

21.02.2020
Sitaris muralis (Forst., 1771)
Sitaris muralis
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25 
The 8 to 10 mm large blister beetle Sitaris muralis (family Meloidae) is one of seven representatives of the genus in Europe and the only Sitaris-species in Germany. It is known to occur from Portugal over Spain and France to Greece and North Africa and is regarded as an eastern palearctic and holomediterranean faunal element. S. muralis is thermophilic with a synanthropic tendency. The beetles can be found from August to September on drywalls, loess escarpments and in the dwelling zone on house walls and under balconies. The larvae are parasitic and develop in the nests of bees of the genera Anthopora, Anthidium and Osmia. In Germany the species is known from the western Federal States and shows expansion tendencies since a few years. Sitaris muralis is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

14.02.2020
Cerapheles terminatus (Menetr., 1832)
Cerapheles terminatus
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23 
The 3 to 4 mm large soft-winged flower beetle Cerapheles terminatus (family Malachiidae) is one of four representatives of the genus in Europe and the only Cerapheles-species in Germany. It is known to occur from France and South England over Central Europe, the Caucasus, Asia Minor and Syria to Iran. The stenotopic, paludicolous species lives in bogs, on swampy meadows, at the edges of ponds and in river meadows. The floricolous beetles can be found on the blossoms of yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus) where they feed on pollen. The larvae live in flood debris of Common reed (Phragmites communis). In Germany there are recent records from virtually all Federal States. However, Cerapheles terminatus is not recorded too often and it is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)

07.02.2020
Lycoperdina bovistae (F., 1792)
Lycoperdina bovistae
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The 4 to 4.5 mm large handsome fungus beetle Lycoperdina bovistae (family Endomychidae) is one of 16 palearctic and only two representatives of the genus in Germany. Its distribution ranges from Western and Central Europe to Southwestern Europe and the southern part of Northern Europe. In Germany the species is not present in the northern Federal States. The eurytopic, mycetophagous species lives in forests, on clearings and at the edges of forest of the colline to montane zone. The beetles can be found on puffballs (Calvatia, Vascellum, Lycoperdon, Bovista) and earthstars (Geastrum). The beetles can be found from March to October in the puffballs, mostly covered with spores. The larvae hibernate in the fruit body. In Germany the species is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

31.01.2020
Anisotoma humeralis (F., 1792)
Anisotoma humeralis
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21 
The 2.7 to 4 mm large round fungus beetle Anisotoma humeralis (family Leiodidae) is by far the most common representative of the five species of the genus in Germany. It is characterized by the red basal marks and the pubescence of the elytra which distinguish it from the otherwise pretty similar Anistoma axillaris. The species is known to occur throughout Europe, from Lapland to the Mediterranean region and in Asia Minor. Anisotoma humeralis is eurytopic and lives in forests, parks and river meadows on fresh or sporulating slime molds (Eumycetozoa). They can be found from April to early August under bark and on branches and stumps infested with fungi. In Germany recent records are known from all Federal States and Anisotoma humeralis is regarded as not endangered. (CB)

24.01.2020
Hister quadrimaculatus L., 1758
Hister quadrimaculatus
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24 
With a body length of 7 to 11 mm Hister quadrimaculatus is among the larger representatives of the clown beetles (family Histeridae) in Germany. The species is known to occur in Southern and Central Europe as well as North Africa, circummediterranean from Spain to Greece and Asia Minor, in the North it reaches Southern England. The eurytopic, xerophilous species prefers warm and dry habitats in the lowlands. It is found on carrion, decaying plant matter and in dung of cow and horse. Beetles and larvae prey on insect larvae, mainly of genus Aphodius. In Germany H. quadrimaculatus is recorded from the southern Federal States and from Saxony-Anhalt and the Lower Elbe region. Otherwise recent records from the northern States are missing. The species is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

17.01.2020
Mycetophagus multipunctatus F., 1792
Mycetophagus multipunctatus
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The 4.2 to 4.5 mm large hairy fungus beetle Mycetophagus multipunctatus (family Mycetophagidae) is one of ten representatives of the genus in Germany. The palearctic species ranges from France to Siberia and Korea. In Europe it reaches the far north, but is missing in Southeast Europe, Greece and Asia Minor. Mycetophagus multipunctatus is stenotopic and prefers deciduous and mixed forests and lives on polyporous bracket fungi (Polyporus) on beech (Fagus), oak (Quercus) and poplar (Populus). Both beetles and larvae feed on the mycelium and spores of the fungus. In Germany recent records are known from virtually all Federal States. However, Mycetophagus multipunctatus is only occasionally found, and is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

10.01.2020
Anthaxia manca (L., 1767)
Anthaxia manca
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The 7 to 11 mm large jewel beetle Anthaxia manca (family Buprestidae) is one of 16 representatives of the genus currently recorded for Germany. Due to its coloration it is unmistakable in our fauna. Anthaxia manca is known to occur from the Iberian Peninsula to Southern Russia and Iran plus a relic population in North Africa. The stenotopic, thermophilous species prefers warm regions, sunny floodplains and parks in the lowlands. The larvae develop in thin branches of sun-exposed, dying elm (Ulmus). The swift adults can be found in May and June on sun-exposed trunks and wood stacks. In Germany, the species occurs in the south and east, and is missing – with the exception of the Lower Elbe region – between North Rhine and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. It is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)


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