Glaphyra umbellatarum (Schreber, 1759)
Pear Shortwing Beetle

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CHRYSOMELOIDEA Latreille, 1802

CERAMBYCIDAE Latreille, 1802

CERAMBYCINAE Latreille, 1802

MOLORCHINI Gistel, 1848

Glaphyra Newman, 1840

Formerly included within Molorchus Fabricius, 1792, this species occurs throughout most of Europe from Spain to Greece and north to the UK and southern Fennoscandia but is absent from North Africa and most of the Mediterranean islands, it extends east through Asia Minor and Russia into eastern Siberia and is locally common except in colder northern regions. In the UK it is very local in Southern and Central England north to Nottingham, although generally absent from the West Country, and there are a few records from South Wales. Adults are active between May and August; they are diurnal and frequent open woodland, wooded borders and hedgerows where they visit a range of flowers to feed on pollen and nectar. Mating occurs throughout the season and mating pairs may sometimes be found on umbel flowers or hawthorn blossom, especially where these are growing beside host plants which include various trees and shrubs such as dogwood (Cornus mas L.), various viburnum (Viburnum L.), roses (Rosa L.)  and pear (Pyrus L.) but also brambles (Rubus L.) and probably other perennial herbaceous plants. Larvae develop in slender branches and twigs with areas of decaying bark, they feed through the summer under bark producing narrow galleries and in the autumn they bore into the xylem to overwinter. Pupae have been observed in the autumn, and these will overwinter and produce adults during the spring, but in general it is larvae that overwinter, they resume feeding in the spring and pupation occurs during April and May. A very distinctive pupal cell is constructed in the pith, it is elongate, slightly curved and sealed at one end and across the centre with densely-packed frass, the pupa lies between these seals and adults eclose after a few weeks. Adults fly well and may be found by searching flowers in warm weather or by sweeping foliage or beating branches, they usually occur in small numbers and sometimes along with other longhorns such as Tetrops praeustus (Linnaeus, 1758) or Pogonocherus hispidus (Linnaeus, 1758), the larvae of which are sometimes associated with those of the present species.

Glaphyra umbellatarum 1

Glaphyra umbellatarum 1

Glaphyra umbellatarum 2

Glaphyra umbellatarum 2

Glaphyra umbellatarum 3

Glaphyra umbellatarum 3

5.0-8.5 mm. Elongate with a narrow forebody and short elytra which leave the abdomen substantially exposed, forebody dark brown, elytra pale brown with darker margins, femora dark brown or paler towards the base, tibiae and tarsi pale brown to yellowish-brown, antennae dark brown at the base becoming paler apically. Head transverse from above, with long eyes that curve around the antennal tubercles and curved temples, vertex coarsely punctured and with fine pale pubescence, and frons with a deep median depression. Antennae long and filiform with the third segment about as long as the third. Pronotum elongate, broadest behind the middle and narrowed to more-or-less straight apical and basal margins, surface strongly but discretely punctured and with smooth longitudinal ridges or elevations. Elytra elongate with rounded shoulders and apical margins, entire surface densely and moderately strongly punctured but without striae. Legs long and slender; with swollen femora and narrow tibiae which have fine outstanding setae throughout, tarsi pseudotetramerous and relatively short, claws smooth and without a basal tooth.

Among our UK fauna this species might be confused with Molorchus minor (Linnaeus, 1758), which also has abbreviated elytra, but here the third antennomere is distinctly longer than the first, the frons are depressed but lack a distinct groove and the temples are longer.