Lamia textor (Linnaeus, 1758)

Weaver Beetle

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CHRYSOMELOIDEA Latreille, 1802

CERAMBYCIDAE Latreille, 1802

LAMIINAE Latreille, 1825

LAMIINI Latreille, 1825

LAMIA Fabricius, 1775

A monotypic genus; the species Lamia textor (Linnaeus, 1758) occurs throughout Europe, except in the far north, and east through Kazakhstan and Siberia to China, Korea and Japan. Although local throughout its range it is often common and may be abundant where found. In the U.K. it was once a local species in England, Wales and Southern Scotland but following a recent and drastic decline seems now to occur in only a single Cambridgeshire locality. On the continent adults occur from May to September while in the U.K. they are usually recorded in June and July, they are nocturnal and generally active on trunks, low branches or on the ground. The typical habitat is damp or wet woodland either close to water or prone to seasonal flooding where the species develops on a range of deciduous trees, mostly various species of willow or poplar but occasionally birch and others. Adults feed on the leaves and bark of both healthy and damaged trees, unusually for Cerambycids they are not known to fly and dispersal is thought to be by seasonal flooding or rivers.  Females oviposit in late spring and summer, the eggs being laid near to the ground in the bark of healthy trunks and branches. The newly hatched larvae feed for a while within the bark before boring into the xylem where they will spend between 2 and 3 years developing. Pupation occurs in the spring in a cell excavated in a trunk, small branch or root at or close to ground level. The entire life cycle takes between 2 and 4 years.

An unmistakable and usually large species, although specimens vary widely in size from 15 to more than 30mm. Entirely black but variously brown in appearance due to the short and pale pubescence which covers the dorsal surface and which may be dense in places giving rise to pale spots or small patches on the elytra. The body is heavily sclerotized with the head and pronotum always much narrower than the elytra. The head is relatively large, hypognathous and robust with a well-developed groove from the labrum to the vertex and eyes that curve around the antennal insertions. The antennae are longer in the male but do not reach the elytra apex; 11-segmented and robust, the basal segment has a transverse keel close to the apical margin-a character shared with some species of the Mesosini. Pronotum transverse, the surface granulate and variously impressed and the lateral margins with a strong tooth at the centre but without borders. The anterior and basal margins are fringed with dense golden pubescence. The elytra are convex and sub-parallel with the apical margins separately rounded or obliquely truncate, the surface has numerous shining black tubercles which are stronger towards the base. The legs are robust and densely and finely pubescent; the meso-tibiae have a strong tooth externally while on the meta-tibiae this is either weakly developed or absent. All tibiae are expanded apically; the meso- and meta-tibiae have 2 fine spines on the inner apical margin. The tarsal segments are dilated in both sexes. Claws smooth and lacking a basal tooth.

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