Dinoptera collaris (Linnaeus, 1758)
POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886
CHRYSOMELOIDEA Latreille, 1802
LEPTURINAE Latreille, 1802
RHAGIINI Kirby, 1837
Dinoptera Mulsant, 1862
This is a very widespread Palaearctic species; it is locally common in lowlands and low mountain altitudes from the Iberian Peninsula to western Siberia and northwest China, it occurs throughout Asia Minor, Syria and Iran and is present on Sicily and many of the Greek islands but is otherwise absent from the Mediterranean islands and North Africa. In Europe it occurs from the Mediterranean north to the UK and some central provinces of Norway and Sweden; it is generally most common in upland and mountain regions and more scattered and local in lowland areas but nonetheless may be abundant in any suitable habitat across central Europe. Formerly widespread though very local and generally rare across central and southern England, the last reliable records were from Kent during the 1940s and the species is now considered extinct in the UK. Adults are diurnal and occur over a relatively long season from April until July or August, they are generally associated with open deciduous woodland but they fly well and sometimes occur in large numbers on flowers in open grassland etc. remote from wooded areas, they feed on pollen and nectar of a wide variety of plants including trees and shrubs but most frequently on various umbels and other herbaceous plants and they are often common on hawthorn blossom. Mating occurs from early in the season and females oviposit among cracks or bark in trunks and branches infested with galleries of other wood-boring insects, usually visiting several sites to do so. Larvae live under loose bark or within old galleries of other insects, probably consuming frass and softer parts of gallery walls, they are agile and very active, being able to crawl on the surface of bark and walk between feeding sites, and they often choose thin dry and dry branches in which to do so. Larval development extends over several years; they develop through the first summer, overwinter under loose bark and complete their development during the following spring and summer, during August or September they emerge from the bark and fall to the ground where they will find a suitable site to enter the ground and prepare a chamber in which to overwinter for a second time. Pupation occurs in the larvae chamber during the following spring and adults emerge from April, depending on conditions. A very wide range of host trees have been recorded but among the most frequently used are various poplars, (Populus L.), beech (Fagus L.), chestnut (Castanea Mill.), oak (Quercus L.) and, where available, they will readily infest apple and pear trees.
Dinoptera collaris 1
Dinoptera colaris 2
6.5-9.0 mm. Absolutely distinctive and should not be confused with any other UK species; a broadly-elongate species with a narrow forebody and broad elytra, head and elytra metallic dark blue or greenish, pronotum red or sometimes with a dark central spot, appendages black or dark grey. Head with large, prominent and anteriorly incised eyes and long converging temples, surface flat or slightly concave, sparsely punctured and with a variable but usually distinct median longitudinal impression. Pronotum without spines or tubercles, broadest about the middle, almost parallel-sided to distinct posterior angles and strongly narrowed to obtuse or weakly-defined anterior angles, basal margin sinuate, apical margin curved, both finely bordered. Pronotal surface sparsely and variably punctured, much the same as the head, and with sparse long pale pubescence. Elytra with broadly-rounded shoulders and a continuously-curved apical margin, lateral margins straight or, more usually, weakly dilated after the middle, surface strongly and confluently punctured and wrinkled from the base, becoming smoother and more finely punctured towards the apex, pubescence pale, shore and semi-erect. Legs entirely dark, often metallic as the elytra, but for the red or yellow claws and tibial spurs.
The distinctive colouration is enough to identify this species with certainty but very rarely entirely black specimens occur, in such cases the form of the head and pronotum and the proportions of the elytra are unique among our fauna.