Crepidodera nitidula (Linnaeus, 1758)

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This widespread Palaearctic species occurs sporadically from the Pyrenees to Central Siberia, in Europe it extends south into Central Italy and the Balkan Peninsula and north to the UK and some southern Provinces of Fennoscandia. In the UK it widespread though very local and generally scarce across Southern and Central England north to Nottingham, it is probably most frequent in the Severn catchment area but absent from Wales and the West Country. Typical habitats are open deciduous woodland, wooded parkland and scrub with a good supply of saplings in various stages of growth; the usual host is aspen (Populus tremula L.) but other species such as White poplar (P. alba L.), Balsam poplar (P. balsamifera L.), Black poplar (P. nigra L.) and Grey willow (Salix cinerea L.) are occasionally used and adults may sometimes be beaten from foliage of other broadleaved trees such as oak and hornbeam. Adults overwinter in grass tussocks or among litter close to host trees, they become active early in the year and are present until the autumn, peaking in abundance during May and June and again in September. Little is known of the biology but the species is univoltine, breeding occurs in spring and early summer and new generation adults occur in late summer, it is likely that larvae feed on host roots and that pupation occurs in the soil. Although adults may be swept from host foliage and their presence may be detected by small holes they produce in foliage as they feed, they usually choose small saplings as hosts and these are the best plants sweep in spring and early summer. This species usually occurs in small numbers and often among much larger numbers of other members of the genus and so will need to be looked for very carefully, adults fly well and so might also be sampled using flight-interception traps.

Crepidodera nitidula 1

Crepidodera nitidula 1

3.0-4.1 mm. Upper surface bright metallic, head and pronotum green or golden-green, often with brassy overtones, elytra contrasting blue or bluish-green, antennae gradually darkened from segments 5-7, legs orange with the hind femora extensively dark. Head convex with large convex eyes and distinct frontal tubercles defined by sharp grooves, Pronotum transverse, broadest about the middle and narrowed to a rounded anterior margin and sharply obtuse posterior angles, disc with a mix of moderately strong and very fine punctures, latero-basal furrows sharply-defined and joined across the apices by a transverse impression. Lateral margins of the metathorax and abdomen without pale pubescence. Elytra with rounded shoulders and smoothly curved to a continuously-curved apical margin, often slightly sinuate before the apex, striae impressed and punctured but fading towards the apex, usually confused on the disc and towards the base, interstices with scattered larger punctures or short rows of larger punctures which are often as large as those of the striae. In some specimens the sutural elytral angle is produced into a small tooth. Hind femora greatly expanded, all femora smooth ventrally, tibiae smooth externally and only slightly produced laterally towards the apex, all tarsi pseudotetramerous.

Similar species
Crepidodera aurata 1.jpg
  • Generally smaller (2.3-3.5mm)

  • Elytral striae regular

  • Elytral interstices with smaller punctures