Epuraea pallescens (Stephens, 1835)

Suborder:

Superfamily:

Family:

Subfamily:

Genus:  

POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CUCUJOIDEA Latreille, 1802

NITIDULIDAE Latreille, 1802

EPURAEINAE Kirejtshuk, 1986

Epuraea Erichson, 1843

This is among the most widespread and common members of the genus; it is Holarctic in distribution and occurs throughout Europe, except for higher mountain altitudes, from Portugal to Greece in the south and north to the UK and reaching the Arctic Circle in Fennoscandia, it is not known from many of the Mediterranean islands but is widely reported from North Africa. In the UK it is locally common across Central and Southern England and Wales north to the Humber, much more local and rare further north to Cumbria and there are scattered records from Scotland and Northern Ireland. The species was formerly more widely and frequently reported and may have suffered a recent decline although this cannot be known for sure because members of the genus can be very difficult to identify and older keys are not entirely reliable. Adults occur year-round; they overwinter under bark or among decaying wood and are active from April until August, peaking in abundance during May. They are primarily nocturnal and become active on damaged trunks etc. during the evening but during warm days they also visit a wide range of flowers such as umbels (Apiaceae) as well as various blossoms, especially hawthorn (Crataegus Tourn.) and Elder (Sambucus L.) where they may occur in numbers. Nothing is known of the biology but the saprophagous or possibly mycophagous larvae are thought to develop during the summer under bark or among decaying wood. Adults often occur in numbers at sap runs on warm evenings or on freshly cut timber on a range of both broadleaf species, especially birches (Betula L.), beech (Fagus L.), poplar (Populus L.) and alder (Alnus Mill.), as well as various conifers. They may be sampled by beating blossom in the spring, especially hawthorn as the flowers open in late April, or by searching trunks on warm late spring and summer evenings.

Epuraea pallescens 1

Epuraea pallescens 1

Epuraea pallescens 2

Epuraea pallescens 2

1.9-3.5mm. Broadly-oval and discontinuous in outline, entirely mid-to dark brown or with the head darker, and often with vague darker areas to the pronotum and elytra, entire upper surface with fine pale pubescence arranged more or less longitudinally and moderately strong and dense punctured that sometimes appear cross-strigose. Head transverse with prominent and coarsely-faceted eyes and short temples, vertex evenly convex, frons transversely impressed above lateral antennae insertions, clypeus transverse and sinuate anteriorly, labrum free and rather deeply incised anteriorly. Antennae 11-segmented; basal segment bulbous and greatly enlarged, 2-5 elongate, 6-8 transverse and 9-11 form a broadly elongate club. Pronotum transverse, broadest in front of near-perpendicular posterior angles and evenly narrowed to obtuse or only very slightly protruding anterior angles and a more or less straight apical margin, basal margin straight medially and sinuate laterally, lateral margins narrowly explanate and distinctly bordered, surface evenly convex and without distinct depressions or structure. Scutellum large, triangular and punctured as the surrounding elytra. Elytra only weakly curved, sometimes almost straight, from rounded shoulders to separately and weakly curved or almost truncate apical margins, lateral margins bordered and at most only narrowly explanate from the base to the apical third, surface without striae, randomly punctured throughout. Tibiae only weakly broadened from the base to a truncate apex; in males the middle tibiae are incurved towards the apex, sometimes strongly so.  Tarsi 5-segmented, the basal segments broadly lobed and the terminal segment long and curved. Claws smooth and without a basal tooth.