Conopalpus testaceus (Olivier, 1790)

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Genus:

POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

TENEBRIONOIDEA Latreille, 1802

MELANDRYIDAE Leach, 1815

OSPHYINAE Mulsant, 1856

Conopalpus Gyllenhal, 1810

This is a locally common species throughout western, southern and central Europe, extending from the Mediterranean north to the UK and southern provinces of Fennoscandia; in northern regions it tends to be scarce and sporadic e.g. in Poland it is known from only a few sites in the south, but it is widespread and often common across England north to the Humber and more scattered and rare a little further north and in south Wales. Adults are active from May until August, peaking in June and July, they typically occur in open woodland and parkland with plenty of deciduous trees in various stages of decay but may also be found at isolated trees in hedgerows etc. they are mainly crepuscular and nocturnal but are active on warm days when they visit umbels and blossom and will often alight on fence posts areas of exposed wood and bask in full sun. Mating occurs early in the season when pairs may be seen in cop. on trunks at night, and eggs are laid under bark or among dead wood. Larvae develop in dead wood, usually towards the end of smaller boughs, and they have often been found in fallen branches, they feed on soft, white-decaying heartwood, commonly on oak, beech and hazel and less often on other species, including various fruit trees growing in orchards, they feed until late in the year, overwinter in the wood, resume feeding in the spring and pupate in the wood. Adults may be found by searching trunks and posts in warm weather but are much easier to record in similar situations at night; they disperse by flight in the evening and are regularly recorded at light and flight-interception traps.

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Adults are medium sized, 5.0-7.0mm, elongate and flattened, they occur in two colour forms, in one the body is entirely pale brown or orange while in the other the labrum, mouthparts and pronotum are orange to bright yellow and the head and elytra are dark grey or black, in both the legs are pale and the antennae are dark with three basal segments pale. They may be casually mistaken for cantharids or tenebrionids but the form of the tarsi will distinguish them from the former and the exposed antennal insertions from the latter. Entire dorsal surface finely punctured and pubescent. Head fully exposed from above, vertex and frons smooth and eyes widely transverse and reniform, temples short and strongly converging posteriorly. Antennae inserted laterally in front of the eyes, long and filiform; the second segment small and quadrate and the rest elongate. Terminal segment of the maxillary palps long and only weakly expanded, much longer than the penultimate segment. Pronotum transverse; broadest behind the middle and narrowed to a rounded apical margin, the anterior angles usually not visible from above, posterior angles distinct and obtuse and the basal margin almost straight, surface evenly convex and without distinct depressions or fovea. Elytra narrowest across the base and gradually dilated to separately-rounded apical margins, without striae but each with two weak but distinct longitudinal ridges which continue into the apical half, one from the shoulder and another external to this. Legs long and slender; tibiae smooth and almost parallel-sided, front tibiae with a tiny apical spur, middle and hind tibiae with two longer and distinctly curved spurs on the inner apical angle. Tarsi 5, 5, 4, penultimate segment small but strongly bilobed, the basal segment longer than the others, on the hind tarsi longer than the others combined, claws smooth and with a distinct basal tooth.

Conopalpus testaceus 1

Conopalpus testaceus 1

Conopalpus testaceus 2

Conopalpus testaceus 2

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