Cryptocephalus hypochaeridis (Linnaeus, 1758) 

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CHRYSOMELOIDEA Latreille, 1802

CHRYSOMELIDAE Latreille, 1802

CRYPTOCEPHALINAE Gyllenhal, 1813

CRYPTOCEPHALINI Gyllenhal, 1813
CRYPTOCEPHALUS Geoffroy, 1762

This species has a Europe-wide distribution, extending north to the UK and southern provinces of Fennoscandia, south to northwest Africa and east into Siberia, much the same as C. aureolus but on the whole less common and more local. Here it is generally scarce, being locally common only on limestone areas of the North Downs from Surrey to Kent and the Severn catchment areas, elsewhere it occurs on coastal dunes in the south and southwest, South Wales and Anglesey and there are a few records from coastal or near-coastal areas in the north of England. Typical habitats are similar to those of C. aureolus; grassland with a mixture of herbaceous vegetation in chalk and limestone areas but also well-vegetated coastal dunes. Adults occur from April to September; they feed on pollen and mostly frequent yellow flowers of hawkweeds, Hieraceum L., yellow star thistle, Centaurea solstitialis L., mouse-ear hawkweeds, Pilosella Hill, and hawkbits Leontodon L. but also buttercups, Ranunculus L., dandelions Taraxacum Wigg, and St. John’s wort, Hypericum L. Mating occurs in the spring and larvae develop through the summer, probably overwintering and completing their development in the spring before pupating.

Overall very similar to C. aureolus but smaller, 4.5-5.7mm and with the pronotum more finely and sparsely punctured; size is usually sufficiently different to distinguish the species but in doubtful cases the scutellum affords the easiest means of separation, in the present species it is transverse  while in aureolus it is quadrate. The sexes may be distinguished by the form of the apical sternite; in the female it is longitudinally impressed while in the male it has a shallow impression before keel on the apical margin.

Similar species
  • Larger (5.7-7.5mm)

  • Scutellum quadrate.

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