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Featured species

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

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18.01.2019
Hypera arator (L., 1758)
Hypera arator
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15 
The 4.5 to 6 mm large weevil Hypera arator (family Curculionidae) is one of 28 representatives of the genus in Germany. It can be distinguished from other Hypera species by its distinctive, elegant markings. The palearctic distribution range of Hypera arator spreads over North Africa, throughout Europe and till Siberia. The eurytopic, halotolerant species can be found on meadows, alongside brooks and in flood plains as well as on ruderal sites and salt marshes near dykes. They develop in various plants of the pink family (Caryophyllaceae), e.g. in pink (Dianthus), campion (Silene), catchfly (Lychnis), spurrey (Spergula), stitchwort (Stellaria) and others. In Germany the species known to occur in all Federal States and not regarded as endangered. (CB)

11.01.2019
Deronectes aubei (Muls., 1843)
Deronectes aubei
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24 
Deronectes aubei is among the few representatives of the predaceous diving beetles (family Dytiscidae) living in running water. For their life in the hyporheic zone they exhibit specific morphological adaptions. The beetle can survive submerged for over six weeks (Kehl, Dettner, Journal of Morphology, 2009, 270 (11), 1348-1355). Their camouflage is remarkable: The beetles resemble both in size and color the bracts of leaf buds and are hardly distinguished from them in running water. Their mode of movement is atypical for a diving beetle: Deronectes aubei crawls slowly on the ground, leaps up, swims a short distance and settles again on the ground. Also the movement resembles a bract flowing in the running water. In Germany, it is restricted to a few brooks in the Black Forest and is classified as extremely rare (RL R) in the Red List. (KR/CB)

04.01.2019
Necrobia ruficollis (F., 1775)
Necrobia ruficollis
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22 
The red-shouldered ham beetle Necrobia ruficollis (family Cleridae) is one of three representatives of the genus in Germany and can be easily distinguished by the red pronotum and the red shoulders of the elytra. In the wild, the beetles appear on old carcasses and on carrion in the later dry stages of decay, where the adults prey on the larvae of other insects, whereas the larvae of N. ruficollis feed on dry leftovers of the carcass. Presumably the origin of the species is not located in Europe, but it cannot be established unequivocally today, because the species has been distributed throughout the world with foodstuffs since centuries. In Germany there are recent records from all regions, however, discoveries are sporadic and rather rare, especially in the north. (KR)

28.12.2018
Stelidota geminata Say, 1825
Stelidota geminata
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18 
The Strawberry Sap Beetle Stelidota geminata (family Nitidulidae) was discovered at the Kaiserstuhl by G. Krumm in 2007 for the first time in Germany. The invasive species originates from the subtropical zone of the Nearctic and has meanwhile spread to most regions of Southwest Germany. Similar to Epuraea ocularis, the beetle lives on rotting fruits and can be easily found in late summer and during autumn on windfall fruits, in which the larvae develop. Gender can be easily determined by their hind tibiae, which are curved and thickened towards the apex and furthermore by the thickened foot of the forelegs in the male. In the US the species is an economic pest in strawberry cultivation. Because over-ripe fruit is especially attractive, damage is often greatest in U-Pick operations where pickers leave large numbers of (over-) ripe berries in the field. (KR/CB)

21.12.2018
Cicones undatus (Guer., 1844)
Cicones undatus
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The 2.5 to 3.5 mm large cylindrical bark beetle Cicones undatus (family Colydiidae) is one of only two species of the genus in Germany. It can be distinguished from the on average slightly larger sister species C. variegates by the lighter colored, more checkered and ribless elytra. The stenotopic species is known to occur in Southern Europe and the southern part of Central Europe und shows a discontinuous East-West distribution with occurrences in France and Poland. It was only in 1991, when C. undatus was discovered for the first time in Hesse. Since then, further records have been made in Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony. The beetles can be found under the bark of staying logs of beech (Fagus) and sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) infested with fungi. (CB)

14.12.2018
Latheticus oryzae Wtrh., 1880
Latheticus oryzae
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The only 2 to 2.8 mm large Longheaded Flour Beetle Latheticus oryzae (family Tenebrionidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. It is a small yellowish brown beetle with flat slender body, a broad head and short antenna with a 5-membered club. The species originates from Southeast Asia. Meanwhile Latheticus oryzae is widespread in the tropical and subtropical region and is regularly introduced to Central Europe with rice and tapioca meal. The Longheaded Flour Beetle is thermophilic and prefers temperatures around 35 °C. Furthermore it requires a high humidity of 85%. Therefore, in Germany the species in found only synanthropic in storages and can become a pest in grains, rice and tapioca meal. Due to its climate requirements, the beetle is not yet established in Germany in the wild. (CB)

07.12.2018
Oxymirus cursor (L., 1758)
Oxymirus cursor
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20 
The 16 to 30 mm large longhorn beetle Oxymirus cursor (formerly Toxotus cursor) is a representative of the subfamily Lepturinae within the longhorn beetles (family Cerambycidae). The variable species is known to occur throughout Europe (with exception of the south), in the Caucasus and Siberia. The stenotopic, silvicolous Oxymirus cursor prefers coniferous forests, especially spruce forests of the montane to alpine zone as habitat. The ligniocolous and xylodetriticolous species develops in moist and rotten root wood of spruce (Picea) and pine (Pinus). On warm days the beetles swarm and can be found on old trunks and occasionally on flowers. In Germany, Oxymirus cursor is recorded from most Federal States and is not regarded as endangered. (CB)

30.11.2018
Hippuriphila modeeri (L., 1761)
Hippuriphila modeeri
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The 2 to 2.5 mm large Horsetail Flea Beetle Hippuriphila modeeri (family Chrysomelidae) is the only palearctic representative of the genus. The bronze colored, shiny metallic beetle with yellow spot towards the apex of the elytra is distributed throughout whole Europe and can be easily determined. Hippuriphila modeeri is stenotopic and hygrophilic, the species can be found in swamps, damp meadows and on the edges of forests, on brooksides and in floodplains. Both adults and larvae are monophagous and live on Common Horsetail (Equisetum arvense). During winter the beetle can be found by flood detritus sifting. In Germany, there are recent records from virtually all Federal States and the species is not regarded as endangered. (CB)

23.11.2018
Acalles camelus (F., 1792)
Acalles camelus
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The 2.6 to 4.6 mm large weevil Acalles camelus (family Curculionidae) is one of 14 representatives of the genus in Germany, which are mostly difficult to determine. Acalles camelus is known to occur from Spain over Central Europe and Italy till Hungary, in the north in Denmark and Southern Sweden. Specimens from the mountains of the southern part of the range tend to be larger on average. The stenotopic, silvicolous species lives in deciduous and mixed forests of the montane zone, especially in beech forests. The pholeophilic, xylophagous animals can be found on dead branches of oak (Quercus) and beech (Fagus), and in the leaf litter during the day. In Germany, there are recent records from virtually all Federal States, it is deemed to be not endangered. (CB)

16.11.2018
Necrophorus humator (Gled., 1767)
Necrophorus humator
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The sexton or black burying beetle Necrophorus humator (family Silphidae) is one of two entirely black Necrophorus species of the German fauna. In all other representatives of the genus the otherwise black beetles exhibit orange markings on the elytra. Similar to other burying beetles, Necrophorus humator buries carcasses of small animals, on which their larvae will develop. They exhibit a remarkable brood care behavior. The female feeds the grubs by regurgitating liquid food until they can feed off the carcass themselves. The female stays in the crypt with the grubs until they pupate, repairs damages of the crypt, fends off competitors and predators and cleans the crypt from mould and rot. With a body length of 18 to 26 mm, Necrophorus humator is the second largest species of the genus in Germany. (KR/CB)

09.11.2018
Zorochros meridionalis (Cast., 1840)
Zorochros meridionalis
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The 1.5 to 2.5 mm large click beetle Zorochros meridionalis (family Elateridae) is the only unicolored and pubescent species among the four representatives of the genus in Germany. The distribution of Zorochros meridionalis ranges from Southern and Central Europe to the Caucasus and Asia Minor. In Germany the species is missing in the north, the border of its range is situated along the northern edge of the central German low mountains. The stenotopic, psammophilic and thermophilic species can be found on the sandy edges of ponds, in sand and gravel pits, and on dry and warm slopes between grasses on sandy ground, often in abundance. Their small size, the good camouflage and their extraordinary jumping power makes the discovery rather difficult. In Germany, Z. meridionalis is not endangered. (CB)

02.11.2018
Psammoecus bipunctatus (F., 1792)
Psammoecus bipunctatus
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The flat bark beetle Psammoecus bipunctatus (family Silvanidae) is only 2.3 to 2.8 mm large and is a very common species in bogs, weedy edges of water bodies and reedy land-sea transition zones. The distribution ranges from Southern Europe to the southern parts of Northern Europe and to Russia in the East. In Germany the distinctive species with its black head, reddish pronotum and the yellow elytra with their variable black markings is unmistakable. Beetles and larvae live in moist to wet plant detritus, e.g. dead reed (Phragmites) and bulrush (Typha) near the edges of water bodies and can be found there occasionally in abundance. Psammoecus bipunctatus swarm during the evening hours and is attracted to light sources. (KR/CB)

26.10.2018
Diodesma subterranea Guer., 1844
Diodesma subterranea
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The 2 to 2.8 mm large cylindrical bark beetle Diodesma subterranea (family Colydiidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. The distribution range of D. subterranean is discontinuous, with a western area (mountains of Eastern France, Southwest Germany, Switzerland) and an eastern area (Lower Austria to Northern Balkan Mountains and to the Crimea). In Germany D. subterranea is restricted to montane forests in the southwest, e.g. Kaiserstuhl, Black Forest, Kraichgau and Odenwald. The stenotopic, xylodetricolous and humicolous species lives on decaying branches of oak (Quercus) and beech (Fagus) lying on the ground in leaf litter. The adult beetle hibernates. In Germany, D. subterranea is rare and regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

19.10.2018
Diaperis boleti (L., 1758)
Diaperis boleti
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The 6 to 8 mm large orange spotted darkling beetle Diaperis boleti (family Tenebrionidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. The body is egg-shaped and domed, the shiny black elytra exhibit yellow to orange colored oblique markings, which can be partially reduced. Diaperis boleti is distributed all-over Europe, North Africa, in the Caucasus and till Siberia. The stenotopic, mycetobiont species prefers deciduous and mixed forests, old parks and orchards. Both beetles and larvae live in various fungi, e.g. birch polypore (Piptoporus betulinus), sulphur shelf (Laetiporus sulphureus) as well as Dryad's saddle (Polyporus squamosus) and Tinder Fungus (Fomes fomentarius). They feed on spores and fungal hyphae. (CB)

12.10.2018
Cassida subreticulata Suffr., 1844
Cassida subreticulata
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The 4 to 5 mm large tortoise beetle Cassida subreticulata (family Chrysomelidae) is one of 25 representatives of the genus Cassida currently recorded for Germany. Their flattened, oval body shape with the head hidden underneath the pronotum is rather uncommon for a leaf beetle. Cassida subreticulata is known to occur from Central and Southeastern Europe to Siberia. There are no records from North Germany. The stenotopic, xerophilic species prefers heathland, dry slopes and sunny grassland as habitats. It develops oligophagously on Common Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis), Garden Pink (Dianthus plumarius) and campion (Silene, Lychnis). In the Red List of Germany Cassida subreticulata is classified as critically endangered (RL 1). (CB)

05.10.2018
Gymnetron labile (Hbst., 1795)
Gymnetron labile
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With a body length of only 1.7 to 2.2 mm the weevil Gymnetron labile (family Curculionidae) is one representative of 22 mostly small species of the genus in Germany. The distinctive beetle with its nicely colored and setaceous elytra is known to occur from the southern parts of Northern Europe to Southern Europe. As a stenotopic, xerophilc species, G. labile prefers dry slopes, fallow vineyards, xeric ruderal sites and grassland. It develops oligophagously on ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) and Evergreen Shrub Plantain (Plantago sempervirens). The larva develops in the root crown. The beetle can be found from May till September on the host plants. In Germany, there are recent records from virtually all Federal States and the species is not endangered. (CB)

28.09.2018
Lopherus rubens (Gyll., 1817)
Lopherus rubens
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The 7 to 10 mm large net-winged beetle Lopherus rubens (family Lycidae) is one of only seven representatives of the family in Germany. Like the other German species, which can be easily confused, Lopherus rubens exhibits conspicuous red elytra with characteristic net-like sculpture. The distribution of the species in Europe is boreo-montane, i.e. L. rubens is known from Northern Europe (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Northern Russia) and – with an extinction zone between – in Central Europe (mostly in the low mountain range) and Southeast Europe (in the continental zone from the lowlands to the mountains). The stenotopic, silvicolous species develops in decaying wood, the imagines can be found on flowers. Alluvial forests, sparse woods and clear-cuttings are the preferred habitats. (CB)

21.09.2018
Oryctes nasicornis (L., 1758)
Oryctes nasicornis
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The European rhinoceros beetle Oryctes nasicornis is the only representative of the subfamily Dynastiinae (rhinoceros beetles) within the scarab beetles (family Scarabaeidae) in Germany. The main distribution of the species is in Southern Europe and the south of Central Europe. In Southern Europe the development cycle takes 2-4 years in oak wood. In former times, the development in Germany was restricted to piles of tanbark of oak in tanneries, which produced enough heat due to decomposition processes. With the modernization of the tanning process at the beginning of the 20th Century the species disappeared from many regions in Germany along with the tanbark piles. Since the 1980's heaps of wood chippings have been set up and today the species has become common in Germany. (KR)

14.09.2018
Ampedus nigroflavus (Goeze, 1777)
Ampedus nigroflavus
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The 9 to 13 mm large click beetle Ampedus nigroflavus (family Elateridae) is a representative of the orange to yellow colored species of the genus. It can be relatively easily distinguished by the color and the yellow pubescence of the elytra. In Eastern Germany the silvicolous species develops preferably in (red rotted) birch (Betula sp.), whereas in Western Germany a broader spectrum of deciduous trees is used for development (Quercus, Alnus, Malus and others). The larvae are predaceous and feed on the larvae of other wood-dwelling insects. Although there are recent records from all Federal States of Germany, A. nigroflavus is among the rare species. In the Red List of Germany the species is classified as vulnerable (RL 3). (KR/CB)

07.09.2018
Triplax rufipes (F., 1775)
Triplax rufipes
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The pleasing fungus beetle Triplax rufipes (family Erotylidae) is one of a total of eight species of the genus in Germany. The 3 to 5 mm large species is known to occur from Southern over Central Europe to the Caucasus. Until a few years ago, T. rufipes was very rare in Germany. Recent records from Hesse and Baden-Württemberg suggest an expansion and a change of the current classification in the Red List as critically endangered (RL 1) should be considered. The stenotopic, mycetobiont species lives in old forests with plenty of fungi. It develops in bracket fungi (Polyporus) and gilled mushrooms (Pleurotus) on beech (Fagus), oak (Quercus) and birch (Betula). It can be distinguished from the very similar sister species T. lepida by the blackened club of the antenna. (CB)

31.08.2018
Coccinella hieroglyphica L., 1758
Coccinella hieroglyphica
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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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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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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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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)


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