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Featured species

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

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06.12.2019
Troglops albicans (L., 1767)
Troglops albicans
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The 2.7 to 3.0 mm large soft-winged flower beetle Troglops albicans (family Malachiidae) is one of two species of the genus in Germany. Similar to other representatives of the family, Troglops albicans exhibits a sexual dimorphism: The male has a pair of excitatory glands giving off a gustatory secretion, which is licked by the female and reduces her initial aversion against mating. Troglops albicans can be found on the edges of forests, in gardens and in sparse floodplain forests. The beetles live on trees and shrubs, mainly hawthorn (Crataegus), where they feed on pollen. The eurytopic species occurs in Europe from Spain to the Black Sea. In Germany recent records are limited – with the exception of the Lower Elbe region – to the southern half. Troglops albicans is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

29.11.2019
Brachygluta perforata (Aube, 1833)
Brachygluta perforata
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The 1.9 to 2.0 mm large short-winged mold beetle Brachygluta perforata (family Pselaphidae) is one of eight representatives of the genus in Germany. Among the otherwise difficult to determine Brachygluta species, the male can be easily recognized by the deep grooves at the end of the first tergite. The eurytopic, hygrophilous species is known to occur in Europe from Northern Spain over France, Germany and Italy to Southern Croatia. In Germany it is found in warm regions, mostly on moist spots at the base of dry slopes, e.g. in the river Rhine cutoffs of North Baden. There are no records from the northern half of Germany, and the species is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). Brachygluta perforata can be found in decaying plant matter where they are thought to prey mainly on mites. (CB)

22.11.2019
Tachyusa balteata (Er., 1839)
Tachyusa balteata
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Due to its conspicuous coloration, the 2.8 to 3.2 mm large rove beetle Tachyusa balteata (family Staphylinidae) is the representative easiest to determine among the seven species of the genus in Germany. The stenotopic, ripicolous species lives on natural or semi-natural banks of flowing waters on sandy or pebbly ground. With their long legs they move swiftly on their substrate. Tachyusa balteata is known to occur in Central and Southern Europe. In Germany it is found in the southern half of the country and reaches the northern border of its territory in Rhineland, Hesse, Thuringia and Saxony. It prefers montane habitats, although records from the lowlands exist as well. Due to loss of habitats by river training and pollution Tachyusa balteata is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3) in Germany. (CB)

15.11.2019
Laccophilus ponticus Sharp, 1882
Laccophilus ponticus
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10 
The 3 to 4 mm large Puzzled Skipper Laccophilus ponticus (family Dytiscidae) is one of three representatives of the genus in Germany. Worldwide, approximately 170 Laccophilus species are known. Laccophilus ponticus, recently also named L. poecilus, is known to occur in Southern and Central Europe and becomes rarer towards the North. In the northern Federal States of Germany no records are available, on the British Isles the species has strongly declined and only very few occurrences do still exist. Partially the species is missing in the lowlands. The stenotopic, tyrphophilous and subhalophilous species is predaceous and lives in fresh to slightly brackish drains in lowland fens. In Germany, Laccophilus ponticus is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

08.11.2019
Coeliodes ilicis Bedel, 1885
Coeliodes ilicis
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The 1.8 to 2.0 mm large weevil Coeliodes ilicis (family Curculionidae) is one of seven quite similar representatives of the genus in Germany. With their conspicuous coloration and white bands on the elytra they resemble a leaf bud, which provides them with a good camouflage on their host trees. Coeliodes ilicis is known to occur in the Mediterranean Region and Western Europe. In France the species reaches the Vosges in the northeast. In Germany, the only known records are from the Nahe valley. The stenotopic, thermophilous species can be found at sun-exposed edges of forests on Holm oak (Quercus ilex) and in the north of their distribution range on English Oak (Quercus robur). In Germany, Coeliodes ilicis is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)

01.11.2019
Mantura chrysanthemi (Koch, 1803)
Mantura chrysanthemi
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The only 1.8 to 2.5 mm large flea beetle Mantura chrysanthemi (family Chrysomelidae) is one of six representatives of the genus in Germany. The main distribution range is Europe (without the southernmost regions) and Northern Asia (without China). Furthermore the species is adventive in the USA and Canada. As a stenotopic, xerophilous and halotolerant species Mantura chrysanthemi lives on heathland, steppe, dunes, dry mountain slopes and banks, and on ruderal sites. The species develops oligophagously on Sheep's Sorrel (Rumex acetosella), but also on French Sorrel (Rumex scutatus) and Common Knotgrass (Polygonum aviculare). The larva mines in the leaves. Mantura chrysanthemi is recorded from all Federal States and is not endangered. (CB)

25.10.2019
Myrmechixenus subterraneus (Chevr., 1835)
Myrmechixenus subterraneus
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The only 1.3 to 1.6 large darkling beetle Myrmechixenus subterraneus (family Tenebrionidae) was counted among the family Colydiidae under the genus name Myrmecoxenus. It is one of only two species of the genus in Germany. Myrmechixenus subterraneus lives in the temperate zone of Central Europe and is missing both in the far north and in the Mediterranean region. The stenotopic, myrmecophilous species can be found on grassland, on the edges of forests and on clearings in the nests of ants of the genus Formica, mainly F. rufa (Southern wood ant) and F. pratensis (European red wood), where the beetles live in the upper layers of the nests, often in abundance. In Germany, Myrmechixenus subterraneus is recorded from most Federal States and is not endangered. (CB)

18.10.2019
Anillus caecus Jacquelin du Val, 1851
Anillus caecus
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The only 2.2 to 2.6 mm large blind ground beetle Anillus caecus (family Carabidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. The main distribution range of the species is the Western Mediterranean where the anophthalmic, endogeic species lives under large stones deeply embedded into the ground. The first German population was discovered in 2000 in Ludwigsburg (Baden Württemberg) during tree felling measures. Most probably the beetles have been introduced some time ago with earth and roots. Meanwhile they have established a stable population, similar to other isolated populations in Northern France and Belgium. Due to insufficient data the potential endangerment of the species is unclear and the conservation status consequently is RL D. (CB)

11.10.2019
Exochomus nigromaculatus (Goeze, 1777)
Exochomus nigromaculatus
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The 4 to 5 mm large ladybird Exochomus nigromaculatus (family Coccinellidae) is the rarer of the two representatives of the genus in Germany. The stenotopic, xerophilic species is distributed throughout the southern Palearctic and lives mostly on dry heathland, occasionally in pine forests and fens. The beetles can be found on Common Heather (Calluna), heaths (Erica) and Scotch Broom (Cytisus). The beetles prey on aphids, especially the mealy plum aphid Hyalopterus pruni. Although there are recent records from virtually all Federal States in Germany, the species is not often recorded and it is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). In contrast, its sister species Exochomus quadripustulatus is very common throughout Germany and is not endangered. (CB)

04.10.2019
Oedostethus quadripustulatus (F., 1792)
Oedostethus quadripustulatus
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The only 3 to 4 mm large click beetle Oedostethus quadripustulatus (family Elateridae) is the more common of the two representatives of the genus in Germany. The stenotopic, psammophilic species lives on sandy riverbanks and coasts and can be found in the lower vegetation and underneath stones, often gregarious. Oedostethus quadripustulatus is known to occur from Spain over Central Europe to Siberia, in the north its distribution range reaches South Sweden. The species is also present in North America. In Germany there are recent records from numerous Federal States and the species is not regarded as endangered, although it is recorded only sporadically. The sister species O. tenuicornis is much rarer. It is known only from Bavaria and is regarded as endangered (RL 2). (CB)

27.09.2019
Lasiorhynchites coeruleocephalus (Schall., 1783)
Lasiorhynchites coeruleocephalus
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The 4 to 5.5 mm large tooth-nosed snoutbeetle Lasiorhynchites coeruleocephalus (family Rhynchitidae) is known to occur from North Africa over Spain and Central Europe to the Carpathians and are not too often recorded. The larvae develop in pine (Pinus sylvestris), whereas the adults feed on Silver Birch (Betula pendula) and Downy Birch (Betula pubescens). The adult beetles appear in May on birches. Oviposition takes place in June on pine. During oviposition, the adults regularly visit birches for feeding. As a stenotopic, thermophilic species Lasiorhynchites coeruleocephalus prefers dry and warm habitats at low altitudes. However, in Southern Europe it also reaches montane habitats. In Germany, the species has been recorded from many Federal states and is not considered endangered. (CB)

20.09.2019
Ocypus fulvipennis Er., 1840
Ocypus fulvipennis
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The 12 to 14 mm large rove beetle Ocypus fulvipennis (family Staphylinidae) is one of those representatives of the currently 19 species of the genus in Germany, which is only occasionally recorded. Ocypus fulvipennis is known to occur from Western Europe (without Spain), over the British Isles and Scandinavia to Eastern Siberia. In Germany there are no records from the northern Federal States. Like to other representatives of the genus, Ocypus fulvipennis is carnivorous and preys on various other insects. The thermophilic and xerophilic species can be found on warm mountain slopes, calcareous grassland, dry edges of forests, ruderal sites and secondary dry grassland, often under stones or moss. In Germany, Ocypus fulvipennis is regarded as not endangered. (CB)

13.09.2019
Stenopelmus rufinasus Gyll., 1836
Stenopelmus rufinasus
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The 1.8 to 2.4 mm large frond feeding weevil Stenopelmus rufinasus (family Curculionidae) belongs to a small genus with only two representatives in the Neotropics and one in the Nearctic. The latter has been introduced to Central Europe. S. rufinasus lives on red water fern (Azolla filiculoides), which has been introduced to Europe as well and has spread in Germany since the 1980's. The adult beetles hibernate on the waterside and can be found on their host plant in spring, where they feed on the fronds, mostly submerged. In South Africa, S. rufinasus is used for the biological control of red water fern. The voracious larvae efficiently prevent that waterways are overgrown and congested by the fern. In Germany, S. rufinasus is not on the Red List due to its status as invasive animal. (CB)

06.09.2019
Lamia textor (L., 1758)
Lamia textor
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The weaver beetle Lamia textor is one of very few flightless longhorn beetles (family Cerambycidae) of the German fauna. The beetle is usually rather found by chance, when the beetles crawl slowly on the ground near their brood trees at dusk. They develop in the wood of living willow (Salix) and poplar (Populus), occasionally in alder (Alnus) and birch (Betula). Due to their long lifespan of about 300 days, the beetles can be observed from April until October, depending on the weather conditions. In former times, the beetle was regarded as common. Today the weaver beetle is very rare and not too many people have seen the beetle in the wild. Consequently, Lamia textor is classified as endangered (RL 2) in the Red List of endangered species in Germany. (KR)

30.08.2019
Orthocerus clavicornis (L., 1758)
Orthocerus clavicornis
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The 3.5 to 6 mm large cylindrical bark beetle Orthocerus clavicornis (family Colydiidae) is the more common species of the two representatives of the genus in Germany. It can be distinguished from the much rarer O. crassicornis by the very long pubescence of the clubbed antenna. The stenotopic, psammobiont species is known to occur in Northern and Central Europe, in the Caucasus and till Siberia. It can be found on sandy ground sparsely covered with vegetation, on dunes, heathland and in sand pits under lichens, especially dog lichen (Peltigera canina). In Germany the species is missing in the western Federal States, otherwise it is currently present. In the East, the species is not rare, but becomes rarer towards the west. In Germany, O. clavicornis is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

23.08.2019
Ophonus melleti Heer, 1837
Ophonus melleti
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The 5.5 to 8.7 mm large ground beetle Ophonus melleti (family Carabidae) is one of eleven species of the subgenus in Germany. Like most representatives of this subgenus, O. melleti exhibits well marked posterior corners of the pronotum and a brown-reddish, non-metallic coloration. The determination of the species of this group is rather difficult. Ophonus melleti is known to occur from Western Europe to the Caucasus and Asia Minor and from the southern part of Northern Europe to Southern Europe. The eurytopic, thermophilic species lives on warm slopes, in gravel pits and at the edges of gardens and forests. In Germany the species is relatively rare except in habitats with warm (micro-) climate. O. melleti is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3) in Germany. (CB)

16.08.2019
Stenomax aeneus (Scop., 1763)
Stenomax aeneus
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The 12 to 16 mm large darkling beetle Stenomax aeneus (family Tenebrionidae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. In Europe the genus comprises seven species. Stenomax aeneus is known to occur in Southeastern Europe and the southeastern part of Central Europe, from France over Northern Italy to the Balkan Peninsula and Asia Minor. The stenotopic, mainly nocturnal species can be found from March to July under decaying bark and on branches of deciduous trees infested with fungi. The larvae develop in decaying wood and wood humus of deciduous trees. In Germany the species is recorded from the southern and the eastern Federal States, but is missing in the north and the west. Stenomax aeneus is not rare and is regarded as not endangered. (CB)

09.08.2019
Omophlus lepturoides (F., 1787)
Omophlus lepturoides
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The 11-6 mm large comb-clawed beetle Omophlus lepturoides (family Alleculidae) is the largest of the three species known to occur in Germany. The genus Omophlus comprises 32 species in Europe. The stenotopic, thermophilous species lives in Southern Europe and southern Central Europe from Spain to Poland and Southern Russia and Asia Minor. The adults can be found on blossoms of umbellifers, hawthorn and fruit-bearing trees on warm slopes. The larvae develop in the ground feeding on decaying plant matter. They hibernate and pupate in early spring in a sealed cell and hatch in May. In Germany, Omophlus lepturoides is currently recorded only from Baden, the Palatinate and Rhineland and is regarded as endangered (RL 2). In the 19th century the species occurred in the entire southern half of Germany. (CB)

02.08.2019
Ampedus erythrogonus (Müll., 1821)
Ampedus erythrogonus
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The 5.5 to 7.5 mm large click beetle Ampedus erythrogonus is one of the 27 species of genus Ampedus (family Elateridae) currently known to occur in Germany. The front and rear corners of the pronotum of the otherwise black beetle are reddish, likewise its antennae and legs. The species ranges from eastern France over Northern and Central Europe to the Caucasus. It develops in decaying wood of deciduous trees and conifers, e.g. oak, beech, maple, spruce and others. The larva develops deep inside the wood humus, the pupation however takes place close to the surface underneath the bark. The adult beetle appears in early summer. In Germany A. erythrogonus is known to occur in virtually all Federal States, but is not often recorded. It is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

26.07.2019
Nemosoma caucasicum Menetries, 1832
Nemosoma caucasicum
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The 5.5 to 9.5 mm large bark-gnawing beetle Nemosoma caucasicum (family Trogositidae) belongs to a very small family, originally with only four species known to occur in Germany and around 325 species globally. A few years ago Nemosoma caucasicum was recorded in Germany for the first time and has been discovered since then several times at the Kaiserstuhl on ash trees. The name of the genus is derived from the Greek words nema (thread) and soma (body) and describes the slim, elongate body shape of the beetles. Both beetles and larvae are predaceous and feed on various bark beetles living on ash trees, e.g. Hylesinus crenatus, larch elm bark beetle. Due to their body shape they can follow their prey swiftly in their galleries. (KR/CB)

19.07.2019
Phytoecia nigripes (Voet, 1778)
Phytoecia nigripes
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The 10 to 16 mm large longhorn beetle Phytoecia nigripes (family Cerambycidae) is one of currently eight representatives of the genus in Germany. At first sight it can be confused with longhorn beetles of the genus Oberea. The pontomediterranean species is known to occur from the Pyrenees over the Alps to Southeast Europe, Syria and around the Black Sea and prefers colline to montane zones. In the Alps it reaches the subalpine zone. Phytoecia nigripes is xerothermophilic and lives on warm slopes and calcareous pasturage. The beetle develops in umbellifers, e.g. cow parsley (Chaerophyllum) and rosinweed (Silphium). In Germany, there are only recent records from Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. In the Red List of Germany, Phytoecia nigripes is classified as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

12.07.2019
Anatis ocellata (L., 1758)
Anatis ocellata
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With a body length of 8 to 9 mm the Eyed Ladybird Anatis ocellata is the largest representative of the ladybirds (family Coccinellidae) in the German fauna. Its distribution ranges from Europe to Asia, from the lowlands to the subalpine region. The markings of the elytra are very variable. In most cases, the elytra are dark red with black spots, the latter framed with a yellow border. However, the red coloration can sample out brighter, the black spots can be reduced or even missing, so that only yellow spots remain, which changes the appearance of the beetle completely. Both adults and larvae are predaceous and feed on different aphid species. The Eyed Ladybird is one of our most common species in Germany. (KR)

05.07.2019
Attelabus nitens (Scop., 1763)
Attelabus nitens
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The brood care behavior of the Oak Leaf-roller Attelabus nitens (family Attelabidae) is probably among the most interesting in the German beetle fauna. The female cuts slits in a typical pattern in oak leaves, from the edge to the main leaf vein and builds a tiny leaf roll. The egg is deposited in the leaf roll and the larva feeds on the drying leaf after hatching. The 4 to 6.5 mm large beetle is entirely red with exception of the shiny black head and legs. It is the only representative of the genus in Germany. The family Attelabidae comprises only three species in Germany. They reach their greatest diversity in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world with more than 2000 species. (KR/CB)

28.06.2019
Pterostichus longicollis (Duft., 1812)
Pterostichus longicollis
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The 6 to 7 mm large ground beetle Pterostichus longicollis (family Carabidae) is one of numerous representatives of the genus in Central Europe. The xerophilous species is known to occur in Europe except in the north. It prefers regions with favorable warm climate, otherwise it is rather dispersed and rare. Pterostichus longicollis can be found in flood plains on xeric grassland close to groundwater, mostly on calcareous or loamy soil under stones or in detritus. Higher altitudes are usually avoided. In Germany there are only old records from the northwest, from the other Federal States recent records have been published. Altogether the species is only rarely recorded. In the Red List P. longicollis is classified as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

21.06.2019
Omalisus fontisbellaquaei Fourcr., 1785
Omalisus fontisbellaquaei
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The 5 to 7 mm large beetle Omalisus fontisbellaquaei (family Omalisidae) is the only representative of the genus and family in Germany. Its distribution ranges from Spain the Southeast Europe (Bulgaria, Hungary). In the North Germany and the Benelux countries are reached. O. fontisbellaquaei exhibits a marked sexual dimorphism with winged males and apterous, flightless females. The latter have a very covert lifestyle and are only rarely found. The elytra of the male are black with a red margin. In higher altitudes entirely black specimen are found as well. The silvicolous species lives on the edges of forests, on forest glades and clear cuttings on grasses and in the herb layer. In Germany Omalisus fontisbellaquaei is missing in the northern Federal States. The species is not regarded as endangered. (CB)


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