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Featured species

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

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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)

04.09.2020
Deleaster dichrous (Grav., 1802)
Deleaster dichrous
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The 6.5 to 8.5 large rove beetle Deleaster dichrous (family Staphylinidae) is the only representative of the genus Deleaster in Germany. Contrary to many other rove beetles, the stenotopic, ripicolous species is easily recognized by the habitus and its conspicuous coloration with black head and abdomen, red pronotum and orange elytra. It is widespread in the western Palearctic and has been introduced to the northeast coast of North America. Deleaster dichrous lives on sandy riverbanks and lakeshores, mainly on the wet sand, under stones and rubble, in detritus and occasionally on the lower vegetation. The nocturnal animals swarm during dusk and are regularly attracted to light. In Germany, recent records are known from virtually all Federal States and Deleaster dichrous is regarded as not endangered. (CB)

28.08.2020
Rhizotrogus marginipes Muls., 1842
Rhizotrogus marginipes
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The 14 to 18 mm large scarab beetle Rhizotrogus marginipes (family Scarabaeidae) is one of four representatives of the genus Rhizotrogus in Germany. It belongs to the subfamily Melolonthinae and is closely related with the European cockchafers (Melolontha) and European june beetles (Amphimallon), from which it can be distinguished by the 10-membered antenna and the marginate base of the pronotum. It occurs from Southwest to the southwestern part of Central Europe and prefers dry slopes on calcareous ground. The males swarm during dusk, while the females sit in the lower vegetation. Larval development takes two years on plant roots in the ground. In Germany, there are only records from the south half and Rhizotrogus marginipes is regarded similar to other representatives of the genus as critically endangered (RL 1). (CB)

21.08.2020
Trogoderma versicolor (Creutz., 1799)
Trogoderma versicolor
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The 2 to 5 mm European larger cabinet beetle Trogoderma versicolor (family Dermestidae) is one of six representatives of the genus in Germany. The stenotopic species occurs throughout nearly the entire Palearctic, from North Africa over Europe to North Asia, however scattered and rare in Central Europe. Little is known about the biology of Trogoderma versicolor. The adults are usually found between May and August on blossoms and at tree sap, mostly in areas with favorable warm microclimate. The larvae are entomo-necrophagous and develop in the nests of hymenopterans or synanthropic as pests in insect collections in museums. In Germany, recent records are known from Baden, the Palatinate, Northrhine and from Brandenburg. Although Trogoderma versicolor is only occasionally recorded, it is not regarded as endangered in Germany. (CB)

14.08.2020
Curimopsis setigera (Ill., 1798)
Curimopsis setigera
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The 2.2 to 2.7 mm large pill beetle Curimopsis setigera (family Byrrhidae) is the most common of the six representatives of the genus in Germany. The genus is of holarctic distribution and comprises 20 species. They are usually found alongside rivers on sandy-loamy ground; some species live in the montane to high alpine zone in moss cushions. Curimopsis setigera is widespread in Central Europe. The stenotopic, psammophilous and muscophagous species lives on sandy and loamy river banks, sand and gravel pits and in brickworks. Die animals graze on fine mosses and algal mats. Their squamation serves as an excellent camouflage on their substrate. In Germany, recent records are known from all Federal States, and the species is not regarded as endangered, but is nevertheless only occasionally found. Determination is difficult in most cases. (CB)

07.08.2020
Scydmaenus perrisii Rtt., 1881
Scydmaenus perrisii
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The only 1.6 to 1.9 mm large ant-like stone beetle Scydmaenus perrisii (family Scydmaenidae) is one of four representatives of the genus in Germany. The family comprises approx. 4500 species worldwide. Due to their small size they attract little attention and are of no economic significance. The male of Scydmaenus perrisii can be easily recognized by its impressed, flattened vertex. The stenotopic, silvicolous and myrmecophilous species prefers wet forests, river meadows and parks as habitat. They live in decaying wood, trunks and hollow trees with ants of genus Lasius. They prey on mites. Scydmaenus perrisii is known to occur in Southern Europe and the southern part of Central Europe. In Germany, recent records are known from a number of Federal States. However, discoveries are rare and the species is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)

31.07.2020
Nebria livida (L., 1758)
Nebria livida
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The 12 to 16 mm large ground beetle Nebria livida (family Carabidae) is one of eleven representatives of the genus Nebria in Germany. It is known to occur from North, Middle and Eastern Europe to Siberia and Japan. With its conspicuous yellow pronotum, the black, yellow-margined elytra and the likewise yellow legs and antenna the species is unmistakable in our fauna. The eurytopic, hygrophilous and ripicolous species can be found at the edges of rivers and lakes as well as coasts with wet, clayey cliffs under stones and detritus. In the Upper Rhine valley also land tongues at quarry ponds reaching far into the water are colonized. In Germany, recent records for Nebria livida are known form virtually all Federal States, but the species is everywhere rare or very rare and is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

24.07.2020
Dryophthorus corticalis (Payk., 1792)
Dryophthorus corticalis
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The 3 to 4 mm large saproxylic wood-boring weevil Dryophthorus corticalis (family Curculionidae) is the only representative of the genus in Europe. Worldwide around 50 species have been described, most of them from the pacific islands from Hawaii to New Zealand, where they disseminate with driftwood. The thermophilic species occurs in forests of the lowlands. They develop in red-rot of fallen and standing deciduous or coniferous trees, e.g. oak (Quercus), pine (Pinus) and spruce (Picea). The species is rare and scattered in Germany. Whereas from the Northwest mainly old records are known, it is more regularly found in the upper Rhine valley and the Neckar basin. Dryophthorus corticalis is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3) (Bense, 2002). Rheinheimer/Hassler (2010) propose near threatened (RL V) as new classification. (CB)

17.07.2020
Mesosa nebulosa (F., 1781)
Mesosa nebulosa
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The 9 to 15 mm large White-clouded longhorn beetle Mesosa nebulosa (family Cerambycidae) is the more common of the two Mesosa species in Germany. Its coloration is a camouflage perfectly adapted to a life on bark. The beetle occurs in North Africa and Europe and is neither rare nor common. It is polyphagous and develops in a 2-3-year cycle in dead branches of various deciduous trees, e.g. common hornbeam (Carpinus), beech (Fagus), oak (Quercus), maple (Acer), elm (Ulmus) and lime (Tilia). The beetles hatch in autumn and hibernate in the puparium. The eurytopic, silvicolous beetles can be found from April to June on bushes, trees and stacks of wood in deciduous forests and at edges of forests. In Germany there are recent records from all Federal States. Nevertheless, M. nebulosa is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

10.07.2020
Galeruca interrupta Ill., 1802
Galeruca interrupta
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The 6 to 9 mm large leaf beetle Galeruca interrupta (family Chrysomelidae) is one of six representatives of the genus in Germany. It can be distinguished from the sister species by the strongly and intermittently ribbed elytra as well as the flat front angles of the pronotum. The stenotopic, xerophilic species prefers heathland, sandy areas in fens and dry, sandy fallow land. Several subspecies have been described: The monophagous ssp. interrupta develops on field wormwood (Artemisia campestris), the oligophagous ssp. circumdata on Tall Pepperwort (Lepidium graminifolium) and Hoary Cress (Lepidium draba). Galeruca interrupta is of Western Palearctic distribution, from Spain to Central Asia. In Germany, no recent records are known from a number of Federal States and the species is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)

03.07.2020
Phosphaenus hemipterus (Goeze, 1777)
Phosphaenus hemipterus
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The 6 to 10 mm large European lesser glow worm Phosphaenus hemipterus (family Lampyridae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. Similar to many species of the family, they are able to produce cold light through bioluminescence, however weaker than its two native sister species. The female is wingless, the male has shortened wings. Contrary to all other 2000 species of Lampyridae, both male and female are flightless. Presumably, the female uses pheromones to attract the male. The larva is up to 10 mm long and feeds on worms. They can be found on pastures, river meadows and at the edges of forests, but also in gardens and parks. The species occurs from the Mediterranean region to the southern part of Northern Europe. It has been in introduced to North America. In Germany, it is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

26.06.2020
Silis ruficollis (F., 1775)
Silis ruficollis
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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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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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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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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)


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