Cionus longicollis Brisout de Barneville, 1863

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CURCULIONOIDEA Latreille, 1802

CURCULIONIDAE Latreille, 1802

CURCULIONINAE Latreille, 1802

CIONINI Schönherr, 1825

Cionus Clairville, 1798

This Western Palaearctic species is represented in Europe by two subspecies; the nominate subspecies is restricted to south-western Europe, mostly across southern and central France and Spain, while ssp. montanus Wingelmüller, 1914 is much more widespread, occurring from the Pyrenees to the Black Sea and north to the UK and southern provinces of Fennoscandia although it is absent from much of eastern Europe and in the south is generally restricted to mountainous areas. This subspecific classification may be optimistic as the differences between them are mostly to do with colour and in many works they are considered to be only different colour forms of the same species. With the exception of parts of southern Norway and Sweden, where it is locally common, the species is generally scarce throughout its European range and is represented in many countries by only a few records. In the UK it is restricted to the Breckland of West Norfolk, West Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, where it common but very local, but it was no doubt more widespread as there are early 20th Century records from Hampshire. Typical habitats are open grassland, road verges, woodland margins and waste ground, usually in warm situations exposed to the sun, Adults are present year-round; they overwinter among litter and moss etc. and are active from May until October, peaking in abundance during June and July. Host plants include Greater Mullein (Verbascum thapsus L.) and White Mullein (V. lychnitis L.) and while the biology is no doubt similar to other members of the genus, with summer breeding and larvae feeding externally on foliage and pupating in the soil or among flower buds, the details remain unknown. Adults may be sampled by sweeping or beating host plants, they usually occur in numbers but sometimes along with other members of the genus.

Cionus longicollis

Cionus longicollis

4.1-4.7mm. Overall colour pale grey; pronotum with pale scales throughout, elytra with pale scales to the even-numbered interstices and pale and dark patches to the uneven numbered interstices, discal and subapical dark maculae round and similar in size. Vertex and frons very narrow between large and convex eyes, rostrum long, curved and almost parallel-sided, in lateral view not narrowed before a rounded apex c.f. C. hortulanus. Antennal scape broadened in the apical third, funiculus 5-segmented and the club elongat5e and pointed. Pronotum transverse, broadest across slightly acute posterior angles and converging to a narrow apical margin, surface evenly convex and rather strongly punctured throughout, without impressions or structure. Elytra only slightly elongate, weakly curved from broadly rounded shoulders to a continuous apical margin, striae strongly punctured and complete to the apex; the form of the striae are important for identification; the first and second striae curve around the discal macula but the first more strongly so that they almost touch outside the middle of the spot. All femora strongly toothed below. Claws fused at the base and unequal in length, especially in males, only slightly so in females. The sexes also differ in the antennal placement; in females just beyond the centre of the rostrum, in males further towards the rostral apex.