Calais parreysii (Steven, 1829)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

ELATEROIDEA Leach, 1815

ELATERIDAE Leach, 1815

AGRYPNINAE Candèze, 1857

Calais Laporte, 1838

This very local and generally rare species is restricted to a few sites in south-eastern Europe; it is known from the Balkan Peninsula, Greece, Cyprus and Ukraine and extends through Asia Minor to Afghanistan and Syria. Beyond this it is known only from the Krasnodar territory on the Russian Black Sea coast. The typical habitat is extensive and damp lowland pine woodland with plenty of trees in various stages of decay although adults fly well and occasionally occur at small groups of trees or even individual trees remote from wooded areas. Adults are active over a short season from April until June, they fly during hot sunny days but otherwise spend much of their time resting or basking on trunks or fallen timber, they are also active on wood during the evening and at night and have been recorded at light. Mating occurs through the season and females oviposit among pine bark or in decaying wood. The larvae develop in decaying wood and are active predators of other insects and their larvae, they develop through the summer and pupate in situ in late winter or spring. Despite being very local and rare the species usually occurs in numbers and large swarms occasionally occur.

This is the only Western Palaearctic member of the large and mostly tropical genus Calais, and at 30-40 mm this is the largest of the Northern and Central Palaearctic click-beetles. Adults are easily recognized on general appearance, they are elongate, broad and convex with a strong declivity at the base of the pronotum and elytra. The body is black with a variable pattern of dense white scales to the pronotum and elytra, the pronotum two dark round spots on the disc. Ventral surface black with sparse pale pubescence. Head transverse, densely and moderately strongly punctured throughout, with round and convex eyes and laterally expanded frons which cover the antennal insertions. Antennae 11-segmented and serrate, more strongly so in males. Pronotum slightly elongate, broadest in front of the middle and strongly sinuate before produced and sharp posterior angles, surface finely and densely punctured throughout, smoothly convex on the disc and raised medially in the basal quarter or third. Scutellum finely punctured throughout, elongate and near-parallel-sided, rounded and raised apically. Elytra rather strongly impressed below rounded shoulders, with finely punctured and weakly impressed striae and broad, finely punctured interstices. Femora and tibiae simple, tibiae without obvious apical spurs. All tarsi with five simple segments. Claws smooth.

Callais parreysii 1

Callais parreysii 1

Callais parreysii 2

Callais parreysii 2