Lissodema cursor (Gyllenhal, 1813)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

TENEBRIONOIDEA Latreille, 1802

SALPINGIDAE Leach, 1815

SALPINGINAE Leach, 1815

Lissodema Curtis, 1833

This western Palaearctic species is locally common though sporadic across central and northern Europe; it occurs from France to Romania although it is absent from Switzerland, Austria and the Balkan countries, the southern extent of its range is probably central Italy and Croatia, to the north it is absent from the Baltic countries and has recently been declared extinct in Finland but it is still frequent, albeit red-listed for several years, in some southern provinces of Sweden and Norway. It otherwise occurs in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK but appears to be absent from Belgium. In common with many other saproxylic species it has declined over recent decades in many areas of Europe due to management or exploitation of forest areas. In the UK it is widespread but very local and sporadic across south-eastern and central England north to Nottingham. Adults occur are active over a long season from spring until the autumn, peaking in abundance during April and May and again from July until September, otherwise they mostly occur under bark, they are generally crepuscular and nocturnal but may become active on trunks and fallen branches on warm sunny days. Habitats are open deciduous woodland and wooded parkland where adults occur under bark on dry decaying trunks and branches; they are most frequently associated with Ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) but have also been found on Hazel (Corylus avellana L.), Birch (Betula pendula Roth), Lime (Tilia cordata Mill.), Oak (Quercus robor L.), Apple (Malus Mill.) and Elm (Ulmus L.), and they have been recorded from flight-interception traps high up in the canopy and so the species may be under-recorded. Mating occurs in the spring and females oviposit among bark on dry decaying branches between 5 and 20 cm in diameter, usually high up in mature trees. The predatory larvae develop under bark and have been recorded from bark-beetle (Dryocoetes alni (Georg, 1865)) galleries and longhorn (Pogonocherus hispidus (Linnaeus, 1758) and Grammoptera ruficornis (Fabricius, 1781)) borings, they develop through the summer and it is likely that at least some pupate and produce autumn adults but it is thought that most overwinter and pupate under bark in early spring.

Lissodema cursor 1

Lissodema cursor 1

Lissodema cursor 2

Lissodema cursor 2

© Lech Borowiec

2.0-3.5 mm. Elongate and discontinuous in outline, body glabrous and entirely dark brown or reddish-brown, legs pale with darker femora, antennae entirely pale. Head broadest across prominent convex eyes, vertex weakly convex and sparsely punctured, frons flat and almost impunctate, anterior clypeal margin slightly raised and almost truncate, mandibles robust but not prominent. Antennae inserted laterally in front of the eyes, 11-segmented with an elongate and loose 3-segmented club. Pronotum transverse, anterior margin weakly curved, basal margin curved and finely bordered, lateral margins curved and with four or five teeth, one about the middle large and pointed, one before the posterior angles usually narrower and more produced, surface convex and variably transversely depressed in the basal third, strongly and discretely punctured throughout, without obvious microsculpture. Scutellum parallel-sided at the base and strongly conserving to the apex, surface strongly punctured on the disc. Elytra with broadly-rounded shoulders, almost parallel-sided in the basal half and narrowed to separately rounded apical margins, randomly punctured in the basal third, otherwise with punctured and impressed striae but these are often confused by equally strong interstitial punctures. Legs long and slender, femora only narrowly visible in normal setting, tibiae weakly broadened from the base, each with a single tiny apical spur. Tarsi 5-5-4, without lobed segments, claws smooth with a weak tooth towards the base.