Chlorophorus varius (Müller, 1776)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CHRYSOMELOIDEA Latreille, 1802

CERAMBYCIDAE Latreille, 1802

CERAMBYCINAE Latreille, 1802

This western Palaearctic species has a mostly southern, central and eastern distribution in Europe, it is locally common from Spain to Greece and extends north to Germany, Poland and Belgium, it is present on many of the Mediterranean islands and extends east to the Urals (and possibly into eastern Siberia), it is rather more common further south where it occurs across much of the Middle east and north-western Africa, it is generally absent from northern Europe, including the UK, but specimens are occasionally recorded with imported timber products from warmer regions. The species is typical of the tribe, thermophilic and most prolific in open lowland woods and scrub, adults occur from May until August and peak in abundance during July, they are very active and fly in bright sun to visit umbel flowers and roses etc. where they feed on nectar and pollen. Host plants include a range of broadleaf trees and shrubs, among those recorded are oaks (Quercus L.), elm (Ulmus L.), various maples (Acer L.) , alder (Alnus Mill.), chestnut (Castanea Mill.), various poplars (Populus L.), mulberry (Morus L.), locust tree (Gleditsia L.) and various fruit trees (Malus Mill., Pyrus L., Prunus L. etc.), they also utilize sea buckthorn (Hippophae L) and grapevines (Vitis L.), and in warmer regions are occasional serious pests in orange, grapefruit and mango orchards. Mating occurs early in the season when pairs may be seen on flowers and females will choose lower parts of damaged or weakened trees, from thin saplings to large trunks, in which to oviposit. Larvae develop under bark during the summer producing long and often branching galleries, and burrow into the xylem to overwinter, they complete their development during the following spring and pupate during May and June. Adults may be seen in flight or on flowers in hot weather, they avoid dense woodland and typically occur in clearings or about thickets, and in southern areas often frequent parks and domestic gardens.

Chlorophorus varius

Chlorophorus varius

8-13 mm. An elongate and rather slender species which may be recognized by its distinctive colour and pattern formed by dense recumbent pubescence, these are variable but usually sufficient for a certain identification, body yellow although specimens may be creamy or even pale grey, with various dark markings, usually across the base of the head, centre of the pronotum and, on the elytra, two transverse bands that meet at the suture, one about the middle and one sub-apical, and an inverted U-shaped mark in the basal third. Appendages vary from entirely yellow to brown or black. Variation is mostly concerned with the shape and extent of the dark markings; the pronotal band may be reduced to three spots and the transverse elytral bands may extend along the lateral margin. Males may be recognized by their longer antennae which extend back to at least the centre of the elytra. One other member of the genus, C. herbstii (Brahm, 1790), occurs, though very rarely, in central Europe, this is superficially similar but here the black elytral markings form irregular blotches that do not meet at the suture, and the pronotum has a large median dark spot.

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