Agrilus laticornis (Illiger, 1803)

Suborder:

Superfamily:

Family:

Subfamily:

Tribe:

Genus:

POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

BUPRESTOIDEA Leach, 1815

BUPRESTIDAE Leach, 1815

AGRILINAE Laporte, 1835

AGRILINI Laporte, 1835

Agrilus Curtis, 1825

This species is locally common from lowlands to lower mountain altitudes throughout Europe from Portugal to Greece in the south and extending north into the UK and southern provinces of Fennoscandia, it is widespread across North Africa and Asia Minor and known from many of the Mediterranean islands although absent from the Atlantic islands. In the UK it is locally common across southern and central England as far north as Yorkshire though very scarce in the West Country and generally absent from Wales. The usual habitat is established open deciduous woodland with plenty of fallen timber and trees in various stages of decay although adults may also occur on older trees in hedgerows and on grassland etc. The species is primarily associated with oaks, usually English Oak (Quercus robur L.) but also Sessile Oak (Q. petraea (Matt.), Turkey Oak (Q. cerris L.), Downy Oak (Q. pubescens Willd.) and Evergreen Oak (Q. ilex L.) as well as other deciduous species including Hazel (Corylus avellana L.), Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.), Lime (Tilia cordata Mill.) and possibly Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) Adults are active from May until September or October; they are diurnal and mostly active in bright sun when they may visit umbel flowers etc., otherwise spending much of their time at rest on host bark or on vegetation beneath larger trees. On sunny days they tend to swarm around host trunks and fallen timber, they alight frequently and will take flight rapidly at the slightest disturbance but mating pairs will usually remain for some time on trunks or lower branches. Females spend long periods searching for suitable oviposition sites, usually on smaller branches or fallen timber, and eggs are laid into areas of healthy bark on branches that have begun to die back. The xylophagous larvae develop between the sapwood and the bark, they overwinter and pupate in situ the following spring and adults emerge from D-shaped exit holes during May and June. Adults can be netted in flight during sunny spells, and although they usually appear in numbers this usually takes a little skill with the net as they are very active and elusive, otherwise they may be beaten from foliage or umbel flowers etc.

Agrilus laticornis 1

Agrilus laticornis 1

Agrilus laticornis 2

Agrilus laticornis 2

Agrilus laticornis 3

Agrilus laticornis 3

Agrilus laticornis 4

Agrilus laticornis 4

4.0-7.0 mm. Very typical of the genus, body entirely metallic green, bluish-green or bronze-green, antennae and legs dark metallic black or greenish, dorsal surface with short and dark pubescence which is easily overlooked, especially in the field. Identification depends on the form of the prosternal process; here it curves around the coxae and is broadest at a slightly obtuse angle at the coxal hind margin before narrowing to finely curved apex. In UK species this form of process is otherwise seen only in A. olivicolor Kiesenwetter, 1857, but here the dorsal pubescence consists of pale hairs which are most obvious towards the elytral apices. Head densely punctured and almost flat between large convex eyes that occupy the entire margin (from above). Antennae dimorphic; in males with segments 5-10 abruptly and strongly widened from the base, in females more gradually broadened. Pronotum broadest before rounded anterior angles and gradually narrowed to produced posterior angles, basal margin strongly bisinuate, surface densely and moderately-strongly punctured, these for the most part forming wavy transverse series, median furrow shallow and often interrupted, and basal lateral ridges fine and almost straight. Elytra very elongate, constricted about the middle and dilated before separately-rounded apical margins, surface rather flat, densely punctured throughout, these forming transverse patterns. Legs long and slender, all femora about equal in size and tibiae more or less straight. Tarsi 5-segmented with the forth segment bilobed. Aedeagus distinctive; narrow, asymmetrical and twisted towards the base.