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Featured species

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

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31.08.2018
Coccinella hieroglyphica L., 1758
Coccinella hieroglyphica
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25 
The 3.5 to 5 mm large Hieroglyphic Ladybird Coccinella hieroglyphica (family Coccinellidae) is one of the five species of the genus in Germany. The holarctic species is known to occur in North America, in Europe up to the polar circle and in the East to Siberia. The stenotopic, tyrphophilic species lives on heathland and moor regions, in South Germany only in the low mountain range. The species can be found on Common Heather (Calluna) and sedges, occasionally on bog pine (Pinus). Both beetles and larvae are predaceous and feed on aphids. The black markings of the otherwise yellow to reddish elytra are very variable and can be reduced. Also entirely black species occur. In Germany, C. hieroglyphica is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

24.08.2018
Prionus coriarius (L., 1758)
Prionus coriarius
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30 
With a body length of 18 to 45 mm the sawyer Prionus coriarius (family Cerambycidae) is among the large species of the German beetle fauna. The vernacular name of the species comes from the sawtooth-like antennae of the male. The development cycle takes three years in living, but ailing oaks, mainly in root wood or in trunk wood near the ground. During the day the beetles sit motionless in the lower parts of the trunk, often hidden by the surrounding lower vegetation. At dusk they climb up the stems and can be easily observed. Due to its crepuscular and nocturnal lifestyle the beetle is not widely known, despite its abundance (recent records are known from all regions of Germany). Prionus coriarius is not endangered and is not comprised in the Red List of Germany. (KR)

17.08.2018
Oryzaephilus surinamensis (L., 1758)
Oryzaephilus surinamensis
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22 
The sawtoothed grain beetle Oryzaephilus surinamensis (family Silvanidae) originates from the tropical region, similar to its sister species, the merchant grain beetle Oryzaephilus mercator. Both are distributed throughout the world and regularly transported with unprocessed agricultural commodities. According to their tropical origin, the species can survive the Central European winter only synanthropically in heated buildings, or in grain stocks, that develop sufficient heat due to decomposition processes. The 2.5 to 3.5 mm large species can damage a large number of foodstuffs, e.g. grains, flour, bakery products, dried fruit, nuts and others. Since they feed mostly on small substrate crumbs, they do not produce a typical pattern of damage. The beetles can reach an unusually high age of up to three years. (KR)

10.08.2018
Crioceris duodecimpunctata (L., 1758)
Crioceris duodecimpunctata
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22 
In Germany four species of the genus Crioceris (family Chrysomelidae) are known to occur. Their vernacular name Asparagus beetle indicates host plant Asparagus officinalis, on which the species develop. When disturbed, the beetles can produce a clearly audible, chirping sound. All species exhibit colorful elytra with pretty variable markings. The 5 to 6.5 mm large species C. duodecimpunctata is the most common species in Germany, together with C. asparagi, with recent records from all regions. C. quinquepunctata and C. quatuordecimpunctata are only known to occur in the south-east and the north-east respectively. During their activity period from May to July, the beetles can be observed on Asparagus plants, also in Asparagus cultivations, where the beetle is regarded as pest. (KR/CB)

03.08.2018
Cionus olens (F., 1792)
Cionus olens
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28 
The weevil Cionus olens (family Curculionidae) is one of a total of twelve species of the genus in Germany. Contrary to other species of the genus, Cionus olens is easily determined by the conspicuous, long and erect pubescence of the elytra. The distribution of the stenotopic and thermophilic species ranges from Western over Southern Europe to Anatolia. In Germany, recent records of Cionus olens exist from the western Federal States (from Baden to Westphalia). The 3.5 to 4.2 mm large species can be found on warm and dry mountain slopes and fallow land. It develops oligophagous on different Verbascum species, mainly on Orange mullein (V. phlomoides), rarely on Dark mullein (V. nigrum) and Hoary mullein (V. pulverulentum). In Germany, Cionus olens is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

27.07.2018
Pteleobius vittatus (F., 1787)
Pteleobius vittatus
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24 
The elm bark beetle Pteleobius vittatus (family Scolytidae) is only 1.8 to 2.3 mm large. It can be distinguished from its sister species by the tricolored scales on the elytra and the absence of alternately raised intervals towards the apex of the elytra. The stenotopic species develops under the bark of ailing or dying elm trees (Ulmus sp.), only exceptionally in Field Maple (Acer campestre) and European Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) in deciduous forests and river meadows. Pteleobius vittatus is known to occur throughout Europe with the exception of the Scandinavian countries. In Germany there are recent records from a number of Federal States. However, the species is recorded only occasionally and is classified as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

20.07.2018
Trichius fasciatus (L., 1758)
Trichius fasciatus
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The bee beetle Trichius fasciatus (family Scarabaeidae) is one of three very similar representatives of the genus in Germany. The larvae of the 9 to 12 mm large species develop mainly in rotten wood of deciduous trees. Trichius fasciatus is known to occur in virtually all regions of Germany (with exception of the north-east) and prefers the low mountain range. Occasionally the species can be found in the lowlands. The sister species T. zonatus shows a similar range, but is predominantly found in the lowlands and only occasionally in the low mountain range, whereas the thermophilic T. sexualis is confined to lowland regions with favorable warm climate. The Red List of Germany does not comprise T. fasciatus, contrary to its sister species, which are classified as vulnerable (RL 3). (KR/CB)

13.07.2018
Bostrichus capucinus (L., 1758)
Bostrichus capucinus
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26 
The Capuchin beetle Bostrichus capucinus is one of five representatives of the family Bostrichidae which are permanently established in Germany. However, they reach their greatest diversity in the tropical region with more than 500 species. The 8 to 13 mm large beetle is distributed throughout the whole Palearctic and prefers warm regions in the continental climate zone. Depending on the nutrient content of the brood substrate the development takes one to several years, preferably in oak sapwood and fruitwood, especially in dry vines and roots. The cylindrical body shape, the black toothed pronotum and the red elytra make the beetle unmistakable. Although the species can become a best in lumberyards, it is classified as vulnerable (RL 3) in the Red List of Germany. (CB)

06.07.2018
Pycnomerus terebrans (Ol., 1790)
Pycnomerus terebrans
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The distribution of the 3 to 5 mm large Colydiid beetle Pycnomerus terebrans (family Colydiidae) reaches from Southern Europe to the central part of Central Europe and Eastern Europe. There are only old reports from Poland, Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia, only old reports from the south of Austria and newer ones from East Austria. In Germany the species is missing in many areas and therefore it is classified in the Red List as critically endangered (RL 1). The xylodetriticolous beetle is found only in primeval forests ("Urwald relic species"). Both beetles and larvae live in wood detritus, with an optional association to the Brown ant Lasius brunneus. Presumably both beetles and larvae feed on fungi growing in the wooden detritus. (KR)

29.06.2018
Tetropium fuscum (F., 1758)
Tetropium fuscum
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The longhorn beetle Tetropium fuscum (family Cerambycidae) is one of three very similar species of the genus in Central Europe. T. fuscum can be distinguished from its sister species by the yellow pubescence on the shoulders of the elytra. The species is present in parts of Southern Europe, Central Europe and reaches far into Northern and Eastern Europe, from the lowlands to the low mountain range. The 8 to 17 mm large beetle follows primarily spruce (Picea), in which it develops. The larvae live under the bark of freshly dead spruce (Picea), rarely fir (Abies). The development cycle is one year. For pupation the larva penetrates deeper into the wood, which devalues the wood. That's why the species is regarded as a forest pest. The beetles are primarily crepuscular and nocturnal. (KR)

22.06.2018
Nitidula carnaria (Schall., 1783)
Nitidula carnaria
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25 
The sap beetle Nitidula carnaria (family Nitidulidae) is one of just four species of the genus in Germany. The representatives of this genus are necrophagous and feed on bones, dry carrion, smoked fish, dried meat and similar substrates. They can become pests in fish smokehouses, however only very few damages of foodstuffs have been reported in the literature. The development cycle of the larvae takes place in dried meat and comparable substrates; hence their lifestyle resembles that of the representatives of the genus Dermestes (skin beetles). Nitidula carnaria is only 1.6 to 3.2 mm long and is virtually of cosmopolitan distribution. Recent records are known from all regions of Germany, however the abundance seems to be higher in Southern Germany. (KR)

15.06.2018
Sphinginus lobatus (Ol., 1790)
Sphinginus lobatus
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The distribution of the 2.5 to 3 mm large false blister beetle Sphinginus lobatus (family Malachiidae) spreads from England (records only from Hampshire), the Netherlands and Belgium to the western and southwestern parts of Germany and to the southern parts of Central Europe. From Germany, there are only records from Baden-Württemberg, the Rhineland, and North Rhine. In Westphalia the beetle is extinct or missing since the 19th century. There are no records from other regions of Germany. In the Red List of Germany the species is classified as endangered (RL 2). The beetles can be found from June to August on flowers and shrubs. Like most species of the family Malachiidae, the larvae develop in dead wood. (KR)

08.06.2018
Bledius talpa (Gyll., 1810)
Bledius talpa
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The rove beetle Bledius talpa (family Staphylinidae) is one of the rarest representatives of the genus Bledius, which comprises more than 40 species in Germany. Recent records of Bledius talpa are only known from Württemberg. In Bavaria, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia the species is deemed to be lost or extinct (latest discoveries made before 1950); from all other Federal States of Germany there are no records at all. The stenotopic beetle prefers areas without any vegetation on sandy brooksides, riverbanks and lakeshores. On such locations the 4.5 to 5 mm large, black beetle with its shiny blue elytra can be observed occasionally, but most of the time the beetles hide in den sand during the day. In Germany, the species is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (KR)

01.06.2018
Carabus irregularis F., 1792
Carabus irregularis
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The distribution of the 19 to 30 mm large Ground beetle Carabus irregularis (family Carabidae) stretches across Central and Eastern Europe, and is limited to the low mountain and mountain range. In Germany the distribution reaches the Teutoburg forest and the Harz in the north. The species prefers moist beech forests on limestone. As a psychrophilic species, the beetles are mostly found on the northern slopes of the mountains, often together with Carabus auronitens, which prefers cold micro climate as well. During wintertime the beetle is found in its habitat in the winter quarters under thick, loose bark and in rotten wood of dead, lying trees, often gregarious. The nocturnal beetles are predaceous and feed on snails, worms and other insects. (KR)

25.05.2018
Anthaxia candens (Panz., 1789)
Anthaxia candens
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45 
The distribution of the Jewel beetle Anthaxia candens (family Buprestidae) stretches from Spain, through Central and Southern Europe to the South Caucasus and Southern Russia. The beetle is missing in the Southeastern Mediterranean region and is substituted there by A. lucens. A. candens is mainly found in orchards with unkempt or overgrown, old trees of Sweet Cherry with a high percentage of deadwood. The development usually takes three years. In contrast to other Anthaxia species, A. candens never visit blooms, but swarms around the breeding trees. Due to their acrodendric lifestyle the beetles are rarely found and it is easier to verify the presence of the species by its typical burrows. The beetles exhibit a sexual dimorphism: The head and pronotum of the female is dark blue, but shiny green in the male. (KR)

18.05.2018
Hypocaccus rugiceps (Duft., 1805)
Hypocaccus rugiceps
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The distribution of the 3 to 4 mm large clown beetle Hypocaccus rugiceps (family Histeridae) ranges across Europe, the Caucasus to Siberia. In Central Europe the species is not generally regarded as rare, although e.g. in Germany recent records (after 1950) are missing from many regions. Recent rediscoveries of the species in several regions in Germany indicate that the lack of new records may be a simple matter of lacking research and/or documentation on the species. The beetles are found on sandy soil nearby waters, mostly along the major rivers and their accompanying lakes, and on the coast in the dunes and on the beaches. Here the beetles are found on carrion and feces, often in company with the very similar sister species Hypocaccus rugifrons. (KR/CB)

11.05.2018
Ampedus elegantulus (Schönh., 1817)
Ampedus elegantulus
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The distribution of the 8 to 10 mm large click beetle Ampedus elegantulus (family Elateridae) ranges from the Pyrenees through Southern and Central Europe to West Russia and Turkey. The species is very rare in Central Europe and is classified in the Red List of Germany as critically endangered (RL 1). The distinctive beetle exhibits a characteristic black coloration on the tips of the otherwise yellow elytra. The deadwood structures Ampedus elegantulus requires for its development have become increasingly rare in our "tidy" landscape. The larvae develop in red rotted wood of tree hollows, occasionally also in very wet, white rotted wood of willow (Salix), oak, poplar and spruce. They are predaceous and feed on other insect larvae. (KR/CB)

04.05.2018
Cordicomus sellatus (Panz., 1797)
Cordicomus sellatus
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The distribution of the 4 mm large Cordicomus sellatus (family Anthicidae) spreads from Northern to Central Europe. Especially in the East the species is widespread and common, at least locally. From Germany there are records from virtually all regions (except Wurttemberg and Saarland), however quite a few of them are only historic. In the Red List of Germany the species is classified as endangered. The beetles can be found on sandy edges of ponds and rivers under vegetable detritus and in the sandy ground below plants. They should be present alongside river Rhine, wherever sandy watersides exist. However, such spots are missing in the narrow Rhine valley in Rhineland-Palatinate, which may be the reason for the lack of recent records of the beetle in this region. (KR)

27.04.2018
Amphotis marginata (F., 1781)
Amphotis marginata
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29 
The myrmecophilous sap beetle Amphotis marginata (family Nitidulidae) lives as a true host in the vicinity of the nests of the Jet ant, also known as Shiny wood ant (Lasius fuliginosus). They lead an inconspicuous lifestyle lurking at the ant trails for foraging worker ants and use tactile cues to solicit regurgitation of a liquid food drop. When the trick is found out, the beetle withdraws into its carapace and attaches itself to the ground, becoming invulnerable to attack. The development cycle of the 4 to 4.5 mm large species is yet unknown. It is believed, that it takes places in plant galls. Amphotis marginata is known to occur all over Germany and is not endangered. Due to its hidden lifestyle the beetle is found comparatively seldom. (KR)

20.04.2018
Brachytarsus fasciatus (Forst., 1771)
Brachytarsus fasciatus
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The 2 to 4 mm large fungus weevil Brachytarsus fasciatus (family Anthribidae) is one of three species of the genus known to occur in Germany. The beetles hibernate and appear already in early spring, but usually from May to June on deciduous trees that are infested by scale insects (family Coccidae). The larvae live under the cavity beneath an individual host scale of the genus Eulecanium or Pulvinaria and are dependent on the eggs found there for food, later they feed on the scale insect itself. Brachytarsus fasciatus is a relatively rare species that is missing or has disappeared in many Federal States in Germany. This is why it is classified in the Red List of Germany as vulnerable (RL 3). The reason for the rarity of the species is not understood up to now. (KR)

13.04.2018
Rhyzopertha dominica (F., 1792)
Rhyzopertha dominica
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22 
The origin of the 2 to 3 mm large Lesser Grain Borer Rhyzopertha dominica (family Bostrichidae) is traced to the (sub-) tropical regions of Southeast Asia. Today it is impossible to identify the exact origin, but it is probably India, China and Indochina. The beetles were transported all over the world with food shipments. It is now a cosmopolitan and one of the most dangerous pests to food supplies. Both adult beetles and larvae attack vegetable matter rich in protein, oil or starch, e.g. grains, rice, sorghum, oil seeds and others, in which the larvae develop. But since their origin is in the tropical region, beetle and larvae do not tolerate low temperatures and die off quickly below 10 °C. Therefore, the beetle is obligate synanthropic in Central Europe. (KR/CB)

06.04.2018
Callistus lunatus (F., 1775)
Callistus lunatus
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The distribution of the 4.2 to 7 mm large Ground Beetle Callistus lunatus (family Carabidae) stretches from Northern Spain, through Central Europe (South England, South Holland, East Germany), to South-Central Latvia and Russia, and Turkmenistan in the east. In the south it reaches the Mediterranean region without the islands. The beetle is markedly thermophilic and nowhere common. It usually prefers limestone soil, but is occasionally also reported from sandy soil. In Germany it is mostly found in the low mountain range, especially on xerothermic southern slopes, sparsely covered with vegetation. Normally one can find the beetle under stones and wood or crawling on the ground in dry and sunny weather. In the Red List of Germany C. lunatus is classified as endangered (RL 2). (KR)

30.03.2018
Pachnephorus pilosus (Rossi, 1790)
Pachnephorus pilosus
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24 
The distribution of the 2.5 to 3.5 mm large leaf beetle Pachnephorus pilosus (family Chrysomelidae) spreads from Southern Europe to Central Europe. The genus Pachnephorus is represented in Southern Europe by about two dozen species, whereas in Germany only two species are present. Pachnephorus pilosus is significantly more common than the other species, and is known to occur all over Germany except the northern Federal States, but very localized and rare. The terricolous beetles live in open, sunny locations on muddy-loamy, sandy soil, often near ditches and other moist habitats under lower plants. They graze on sparse moss floors thriving on the moist, loamy-sandy soil. In the Red List of Germany the species is classified as endangered (RL 2). (KR/CB)

23.03.2018
Rhynchaenus alni (L., 1758)
Rhynchaenus alni
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The 2.5 to 3.5 mm large weevil Rhynchaenus alni (family Curculionidae) is one of the so called leaf mining or jumping weevils. These weevils have thickened hind legs that enable them to make - relative to their size - huge jumps, similar to the leaf beetles of the subfamily Halticinae. The distribution of Rhynchaenus alni spreads in the north from Denmark to Southern Europe and in the East to East Asia. In Germany, there are records from virtually all regions (except Mecklenburg- Western-Pomerania), but many of them are only historical. Contrary to their scientific name the species is not living on alder (Alnus sp.), but oligophagous on elm tree (Ulmus sp.), often together with the reddish Rhynchaenus rufus. In Germany, the species is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (KR)

16.03.2018
Plagionotus detritus (L., 1758)
Plagionotus detritus
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The 10 to 19 mm large longhorn beetle Plagionotus detritus (family Cerambycidae) mimics the appearance of stinging wasps - similar to longhorn beetles of the genus Leptura, Clytus and Xylotrechus as well as insects from other orders (e.g. hoverflies, clearwing moths). This is called Batesian mimicry. Its distribution stretches from Southern and Central Europe to the Caucasus, Northern Kazakhstan and the Middle East. The larval development takes 1-2 years in stems and thick branches of various deciduous trees, in Central Europe preferably in oak (Quercus), but also hornbeam (Carpinus), beech (Fagus), chestnut (Castanea). The beetles can be found on the side and at the bottom of fresh timber logs lying in the sun. In Germany the species is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (KR/CB)


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