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Cordylepherus viridis (Fabricius, 1787)





POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CLEROIDEA Latreille, 1802

MALACHIIDAE Fleming, 1821

Cordylepherus Evers, 1985

This is a generally common and very widely distributed Palaearctic species occurring throughout Europe from Algeria north to southern Scandinavia and the UK and east to the Caucasus, Afghanistan, Siberia and Mongolia. It occurs from lowland to low mountain altitudes and inhabits a range of biotopes; in continental Europe it is often very abundant in coastal beaches and dunes but also in dry sandy areas as well as permanently damp environments inland, in the UK it is generally common in England as far north as South Yorkshire and occurs in a range of situations; meadows, roadsides, agricultural and woodland borders and parkland etc. while in Wales it is mostly coastal. Adults appear from May to August and may be seen on flowers generally, initially on Hawthorne blossom but more especially on umbels and ox-eye daisy, and may be swept from grassland and low foliage in a wide range of situations, they are pollen feeders but will also take larvae and small insects while on flower heads. Mating occurs through their season and oviposition begins from late June or July; eggs are laid among bark or decaying wood where the predatory larvae will develop and overwinter. Pupation occurs from April to June and new generation adults appear soon afterwards. In most years   adults emerge to coincide with the hawthorn blossom and here they may become abundant but they fly well and soon disperse to flowers generally, they are active in bright sun and from Mid-May might be swept from flowers or grass etc. in most habitats.

Adults are only likely to be confused with various other similarly coloured species of the family; Malachius bipustulatus is a brighter green, the anterior pronotal angles are red, the male antennae are modified and in the female the second antennomere is more strongly serrate. Clanoptilus barnevillei (Puton) has pale tarsi, C. marginellus (Olivier) has broadly pale pronotal margins and C. strangulatus (Abeille) is much less shiny and lacks the lateral elytral setae seen in the present species.

Cordylepherus viridis 1

Cordylepherus viridis 1

Cordylepherus viridis 2

Cordylepherus viridis 2

Cordylepherus viridis 3

Cordylepherus viridis 3

4.0-5.0mm. Entirely metallic green or greenish blue but for the basal antennal segments, at least ventrally, labrum and elytral apices red or yellow. Head transverse with large convex eyes and curved temples, surface finely wrinkled and very finely punctured, with fine and sparse pale pubescence. Antennae long and slender with all segments elongate; the basal segment much broader than the others, especially in the male, and the second almost quadrate. Pronotum transverse and only weakly convex, finely punctured and transversely wrinkled, entirely metallic green or blue although the continental variety pseudobipustulatus (Evers, 1944) has red anterior angles. Elytra with prominent shoulders and gradually widened to continuously rounded apical margins, the surface microgranulate and finely punctured. Long erect setae are present on the temples, pronotum and towards the elytral apex which are usually clearly visible along the lateral margins.

Similar Species
Malachius bipustulatus
  • Larger (5.5-6mm)
  • Brighter green, elytral apex more distinctly red, anterior pronotal angles red.
  • Pronotum more transverse.
  • Male antennae modified.
Malachius bipustulatus 1A.jpg
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