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Anthribus fasciatus Forster, 1770







POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CURCULIONOIDEA Latreille, 1802

ANTHRIBIDAE Billberg, 1820

ANTHRIBINAE Billberg, 1820

ANTHRIBINI Billberg, 1820

Anthribus Geoffroy, 1762

Widespread across Europe from Portugal to Western Russia and extending north to the UK and the Baltic countries where it reaches into southern latitudes of Sweden and Finland, also widespread in North Africa and the Near East and recorded from the Eastern Palaearctic region. The species is locally common in parts of Southern France, Belgium and the Netherlands but is otherwise generally very local and scarce in Europe. In the UK it is very local though not uncommon across south-eastern and central England, but otherwise very local and scarce, extending north into South-eastern Scotland. Attempts to introduce the species into the United States during the 1970s were unsuccessful. The usual habitat is open woodland, woodland margins and hedgerows etc., where adults are associated with twigs and foliage of both coniferous and broadleaf trees and shrubs although they also visit flowers, especially in the spring when they may be found in numbers on Hawthorn blossom. Adults are present year-round; they overwinter under bark, often in numbers, and are active from March until August, peaking in abundance during May and June. Both sexes feed on scale insects, and larvae are parasitoids, developing within the scale insect brood sac. Soon after mating the females seek out reproducing scale insects, they carefully examine each potential host with their antennae to establish whether they are already parasitized, and when suitable hosts are found they bite into the brood sac, insert a single egg and then continue searching for more hosts. Oviposition takes only a couple of minutes and each female will produce up to 30 eggs, so a single female may move quickly through a scale insect colony before moving on to find others. Larvae develop within the brood sac, devouring developing scale insects, they pass through three instars and are fully grown within a five or six weeks, they then pupate within the sac and adults eclose after a week or so, from May or June depending on the season. Fresh adults will feed on scale insects and remain active into the summer but they will not reproduce until the following spring. Adults are mostly diurnal; they may be beaten from foliage or blossom and specimens often appear on trunks and branches during warm weather.

Anthribus fasciatus 1

Anthribus fasciatus 1

Anthribus fasciatus 2

Anthribus fasciatus 2

2.5-6.0 mm. Robust, broadly elongate and compact, head and pronotum dark with variously-developed bands and lines of pale grey pubescence, elytra with black and brown mottling to the interstices and three large dark marks; one across the base and one either side on the disc, antennae dark, legs dark with bands or patches of pale pubescence. Head flat and densely punctured between large and convex eyes, clypeus weakly concave and smoothly curved anteriorly, rostrum short and broad with lateral scrobes that almost reach the eyes. Antennae short, about as long as the distance between the insertions, 11-segmented with a long and asymmetric 3-segmented club. Pronotum widely transverse, broadest across acute posterior angles and narrowed to a rounded apical margin, lateral margins bordered throughout, basal margin sinuate and produces medially, surface with fine punctures within dense larger punctures that are confluent in places, uneven but without a sub-basal ridge or definite structure. Scutellum small but obvious, usually fringed across the base with whitish pubescence. Elytra quadrate or slightly elongate and sub-parallel from rounded shoulders to a continuous apical margin, striae strongly punctured, interstices roughly sculptured; the unevenly-numbered ones broader and more convex. Legs short and robust with femora smooth and only narrowly visible from above, and tibiae rather strongly broadened from the base. Tarsi pseudotetramerous, the diminutive fourth segment hidden within the strongly bilobed third segment. Claws strongly toothed at the base.

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