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Anthicus antherinus (Linnaeus, 1760)






POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

TENEBRIONOIDEA Latreille, 1802

ANTHICIDAE Latreille, 1819

ANTHICINAE Latreille, 1819

Anthicus Paykull, 1798

This is a very widely distributed Palaearctic species, the nominate subspecies occurs throughout the region including Lebanon, Iran and Israel, it is widespread across Europe north to the UK and central provinces of Fennoscandia and is often the most common member of the genus, it is a very variable species and several aberrations have been named, and there is a further subspecies A. a. syriae Pic, 1892 recorded from France, North Africa and Afghanistan. In the UK it is locally common in southeast and central England as far north as Nottingham, and very local and rare in the West Country and South Wales. It is generally a lowland species but often occurs at lower mountain altitudes and has been recorded up to 2000 m in Iran.  Adults occur year-round, they overwinter among leaf-litter or under debris and are active over a long season from March until the autumn, peaking in abundance from April until June and again during August and September. Adults leave their winter quarters in early spring and disperse by flight, sometimes swarming around bushes etc and often appearing on flowers, they are eurytopic and prefer mostly open and dry habitats such as grassland, hedgerows and wooded margins but they often appear in wetland margins, dunes and sea shores and are frequent in disturbed urban and agricultural habitats. Reproduction occurs mainly in the spring after dispersal but mating pairs are common into early summer, larvae are saprophagous; they develop among decaying plant material and pupate during the summer. Adults are polyphagous, they will often be seen on umbel flowers etc feeding on pollen and nectar but also consume sap from plant wounds, honeydew, small insects and their early stages as well as dead insect larvae. Adults are most frequently encountered by sweeping flowers or low herbaceous vegetation but they occur regularly when sieving leaf-litter and compost and they have been recorded from light and flight-interception traps.

Anthicus antherinus 1

Anthicus antherinus 1

Anthicus antherinus 2

Anthicus antherinus 2

Anthicus antherinus 3

Anthicus antherinus 3

2.8-3.7 mm. Very suggestive of a small carabid but readily distinguished by the form of the palps and tarsi. Elongate and flattened, the forebody much narrower than the elytra, forebody black, elytra black with an orange sub-humeral spot and transverse band across the centre which extends along the suture to the apex, appendages dark to pale brown or grey the legs generally with paler tibiae and the antennae darkened towards the apex. Typical specimens are obvious but the extent of the pale elytral markings is variable; in extreme examples, which are rare, only the sub-humeral area is pale. Head transverse and broadest across weakly convex eyes, temples long and rounded to a truncate basal margin and a very narrow neck, surface densely punctured and with short pale pubescence. Terminal maxillary palpomere large and securiform, penultimate segment expanded internally. Antennae inserted laterally in front of the eyes, filiform with all segments elongate. Pronotum quadrate or slightly elongate, broadest in front of the middle, smoothly rounded anteriorly and narrowed to a weak sub-basal constriction, basal margin weakly curved, surface densely punctured, lacking microsculpture and with short, pale pubescence. Elytra with rounded shoulders and a continuously-curved apical margin that sometimes leaves the abdomen narrowly exposed, evenly convex throughout; without any hint of a sub-basal depression, without striae, densely and randomly punctured throughout, the punctures stronger than those on the pronotum and for the most part, especially towards the edges, asperate, pubescence pale and fine throughout. Femora usually darker than the tibiae and tarsi, tibiae smooth internally and with a short and inconspicuous apical spur, tarsi 5-5-4 in both sexes, the penultimate segment strongly bilobed. Claws smooth and without a distinct basal tooth. The coastal species Cordicollis instabilis (Schmidt, 1842) can be superficially similar.

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