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Featured species

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

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17.04.2015
Hetaerius ferrugineus (Ol., 1789)
Hetaerius ferrugineus
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The 1.5 to 2 mm large clown beetle Hetaerius ferrugineus (family Histeridae) is the only representative of the genus in Europe. Worldwide, about 30 species have been described, most of them from the Nearctic. The species is distributed from the southern part of Northern Europe to South Europe and the Caucasus. The myrmecophilous species lives in warm habitats, river meadows, heathland and arid grassland in the nests of various ant species. The beetles feed on dead and sick ants. Most of the time, the ants show indifferent behavior towards the beetle. In the case of attacks, the beetle feigns death with its legs and antennae closely pressed to its body. The ants then carry the beetle around, lick it and finally release it. In Germany, the species is widespread, but not common. It is regarded as vulnerable (RL ,3). (CB)


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