Anaglyptus mysticus (Linnaeus, 1758)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CHRYSOMELOIDEA Latreille, 1802

CERAMBYCIDAE Latreille, 1802

CERAMBYCINAE Latreille, 1802

ANAGLYPTINI Mulsant, 1839

Anaglyptus Mulsant, 1839

This is the only species of Anaglyptus to occur in the far north of Europe, including the UK; it is otherwise widely distributed throughout Europe east to Ukraine and south to North Africa. In the U.K it is widespread though local through England and Wales north to Cheshire and south Yorkshire. Typically an insect of woodland borders, hedgerows and parkland, host plants include a wide range of deciduous trees and shrubs although Crataegus may be a preferred host. Adults are active from April to July and visit a range of flowers, especially various umbels and thistles, they fly well and can be elusive, moving rapidly and flying readily. Mating occurs in the spring when pairs may be found on flowers in bright sun and females lay eggs  in bark crevices or in the burrows of other xylophagous insects in areas of damaged or dead wood on standing or fallen timber. Fire-damaged trees are particularly prone to attack and this may be due to the very dry nature of the wood.  Fresh larvae generally burrow under bark but as they grow they frequently tunnel into the heartwood leaving galleries tightly packed with very fine wood dust, development generally takes 2 or 3 years, although much longer periods have been recorded, and pupation takes place in the autumn in a gallery excavated parallel to the wood grain. Adults eclose in the autumn and overwinter in the pupal gallery to emerge the following spring, they are diurnal and probably easiest to find by sweeping or searching umbel flowers etc. along woodland margins but they may also be found at night as they rest quite low down on trunks and are easily spotted by torchlight.

9-12mm. Forebody dull black and distinctly narrower than the elytra across the shoulders. Head vertically declined and with dense pale pubescence. Vertex flat and frons with a weak median line. Eyes large and prominent, broadly transverse and curved around the antennal tubercles. Palpi dark with the terminal segment a little lighter. Antennae long, without thickened segments, basal segments black and distal segments pale. Segment 3 much longer than 2 or 4, and with an apical spine on the inner margin. Distance between eyes greater than that between the antennal insertions. Pronotum quadrate or a little elongate, black and lacking any lateral borders or sculpture. Surface sparsely pubescent, with close and shallow punctation; the surface coarsely microsculptured.  Scutellum black and densely pubescent. Elytra elongate and very convex, covering the entire abdomen. Basal margin near the suture with a short longitudinal ridge. Apices separately rounded or weakly angled so that they appear somewhat truncate. Legs black with the tarsi lighter. Femora clavate and without spines. Hind tibiae as long as the femora. Third tarsal segment deeply bilobed. Claws long and curved, without a basal tooth.

Anaglyptus mysticus 1

Anaglyptus mysticus 1

Anaglyptus mysticus 2

Anaglyptus mysticus 2

Anaglyptus mysticus 3

Anaglyptus mysticus 3

Anaglyptus mysticus 4

Anaglyptus mysticus 4

Anaglyptus mysticus 5

Anaglyptus mysticus 5

ANAGLYPTINI Lacordaire, 1869

This tribe is closely related to the Clytini, the limits are by no means settled and in recent years several species have been transferred to that tribe. As it now seems to be understood this is a relatively small tribe of longhorn beetles included in about 10 genera. They are widely distributed throughout the Holarctic, Oriental and Neotropical regions; several species occur in Canada but not the United States. Northern hemisphere genera include Hirticlytus Ohbayashi, 1960 with 2 oriental species, Oligoenoplus Chevrolat, 1863 with around 30 species, Paraclytus Bates, 1884 with around 20 species and Anaglyptus Mulsant, 1839 with around 50 species. Many of the species have a characteristic appearance with distinctly patterned elytra: pale and often red basally, darker behind the middle and pale apically, typically with transverse or oblique pale markings. The forebody and appendages are often dark. The overall form is parallel with prominent shoulders (at least in Northern Hemisphere species) and a convex pronotum. Very distinctly different species include Anaglyptus meridionalis Matsushika, 1933, a Chinese species which is bright red with ocellate elytral markings, and A. bellus (Matsumara & Matsushita, 1933), a brilliant red and black banded species from Japan. These represent the 2 known species of the subgenus Akajimatora Kusama & Takakuwa, 1984. Many Neotropical species are much more elongate and less robust and have longer appendages. Most are differently, although still distinctively, coloured. Features common to the tribe are: a relatively small and transverse head with the frons smooth and without carinae or grooves, long and slender antennae with segments 3-5, or at least segment 3, with a spine on the inner apical margin. Pronotum weakly elongate. Elytra parallel or weakly tapering, and slightly raised behind a prominent scutellum. Legs long and slender, with clavate femora.

Anaglyptus Mulsant, 1839

Along with Akajimatora-see above-this genus includes 2 other subgenera: Anaglyptus s.str. is widespread with around 36 species, including one from the UK, and Aglaophis Thomson, 1857 which is widespread and contains around a dozen species. A. luteofasciatus Pic, 1905, which is endemic to Greece and known from only 2 populations, is unusual in that it is known to be predaceous. The 50 or so species are all distinctive in appearance and a familiarity with A. mysticus will serve to recognize many at the generic level. They all have a transverse and convex head with prominent eyes and long and slender antennae. The third antennal segment has an apical spine on the inner margin. The elytra are broad and parallel or slightly tapering, with prominent shoulders and often sinuate lateral margins. The apical margins are rounded or have a spine on the outer angle. A single species, A. mysticus (Linnaeus, 1758) occurs in the north of Europe and is therefore unmistakable.

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