Crepidodera aurea (Geoffroy in Fourcroy, 1785)

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This Palaearctic-wide species occurs continuously from Spain to the far east of Russia and China, it is locally common across Southern and Central Europe but more sporadic in the north, to the south it occurs across the Mediterranean region from Spain to the Black Sea although it is absent from most of the islands and from North Africa, the northern extent of the distribution in Europe is Denmark, Poland and Latvia although here it is very local and scarce and it is otherwise absent from the Baltic countries. In the UK it is generally common across Southern and Central England north to the Humber and very local and scarce further north to the Scottish border and in Wales, it is present on Anglesey and Man and widespread though very local and scarce in Ireland. Adults occur year-round they overwinter under bark or in tussocks and are active over a long season from March or April until October, peaking in abundance from late May until early July, Typical habitats are woodland, wooded parkland, heaths and wetland margins and it is sometimes common on coastal dune slacks. Host plants are usually various poplars, often Aspen (Populus tremula L.), Black Poplar (P. nigra L.) and White Poplar (P. alba L.) and sometimes various willows (Salix L.), adults often occur on other broadleaf trees such as birches (Betula L.), hazels (Corylus L.) and cherry (Prunus L.) Mating begins in the spring following a period of feeding when adults produce small holes in host leaves and here they are thought to prefer leaves infested with fungi of the genus Venturia Sacc. (1882). Eggs are laid in small batches in the soil among host roots and larvae are thought to feed externally on roots during June and July. Pupation occurs in an earthen cell in the summer and new-generation adults appear from July until late summer, there is a single generation each year and these adults will overwinter to reproduce the following spring. Adults may be sampled by sweeping or beating host foliage; they fly well and sometimes occur on hawthorn (Crataegus Tourn. Ex L.) blossom in the spring, they often occur in numbers in flight-interception traps and during the winter they occur in bark and tussock samples, again usually in numbers.

Crepidodera aurea 1

Crepidodera aurea 1

Crepidodera aurea 2

Crepidodera aurea 2

Crepidodera aurea 3

Crepidodera aurea 3

2.5-4.0 mm. Broadly-oval and discontinuous in outline, glabrous, entirely bright metallic green, golden-green, coppery, blue or violet, and from certain angles contrasting overtones are usually obvious, appendages substantially pale but usually the femora and antennal apices are darkened. Head with large convex eyes that occupy most of the margin, vertex finely punctured and frontal tubercles defined by narrow grooves, antennal 11-segmented, long and slender. Pronotum strongly transverse (about 1.7X wider than long), broadest about the middle and narrowed to perpendicular posterior angles and distinct anterior tubercles, surface finely but not densely punctured, in front of the base with a distinct transverse impression between longitudinal basal fovea. Elytra evenly curved from sloping shoulders to a continuous apical margin, striae strongly punctured from the base, including a long scutellary striole, humeral calli well developed and interstices flat and finely sculptured. Legs long and robust, the expanded hind femora usually darkened to some extent but occasionally entirely pale, all tibiae with a small but obvious apical spur. Among our UK species most similar to C. fulvicornis (Fabricius, 1792) but here the pronotum is less transverse, about 1.X wider than long and much more strongly punctured across the disc.