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Lissodema denticollis (Gyllenhal, 1813)






POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

TENEBRIONOIDEA Latreille, 1802



Lissodema Curtis, 1833

This is a very local species with a mostly southern European distribution; it occurs from Spain through the northern Balkans to the Black Sea in the south and reaches the UK and southern Sweden to the north but is absent from many central and eastern countries. In the UK it is locally common in central and southeast England north to Nottingham but rare and sporadic elsewhere in England, Wales and Ireland and absent from Scotland. Adults have been recorded over a long season from January until September and so it is likely they overwinter, they occur under bark or among decaying wood on a wide range of deciduous trees and are occasionally found under the bark of pine and, rarely, other conifers. Typical habitats are woodland and wooded parkland with plenty of mature trees in various stages of decay, they usually attack trunks and damaged branches which are still attached to the tree and they sometimes occur in numbers, they are nocturnal and sometimes appear in flight-interception traps placed in the canopy but they seem not to come to light. Little is known of the biology but numbers of adults were discovered deep in fairly dry composted wood in a maple tree hollow during February (Southern France, altitude 900m.) which might suggest a site of larval development, although they are sometimes quoted as developing in dry branches, or at least pupation. Adults are small and cryptic and need to be searched for very carefully; they crawl among deep bark or, less often, on areas of denuded wood and. at least in our experience, avoid sap runs on oak when other species are present in abundance, for these reasons the species may be under-recorded. Taking likely samples for extraction during the winter would seem a good way to find the species but this method has so far been unsuccessful for us even in our local park where it is known to occur.

Lissodema denticollis 1

Lissodema denticollis 1

Lissodema denticollis 2

Lissodema denticollis 2

© U.Schmidt

Lissodema denticollis 3

Lissodema denticollis 3

© Lech Borowiec

Small, elongate and flattened, rather suggestive of several other genera that occur under bark but the combination of toothed pronotal margins and maculate elytra is distinctive among our fauna. 2.5-3.3 mm. Glabrous and shiny, without microsculpture, forebody and appendages pale brown, elytra dark brown with a large pale humeral mark which may occupy almost the entire basal third, and a smaller, usually oval but variable, pale mark in the apical third. Head quadrate, produced and finely bordered in front of convex and protruding eyes and short converging temples that are usually retracted into the thorax, vertex weakly convex and clypeus flat and truncate, moderately strongly but not densely punctured throughout, terminal maxillary palpomere long and cylindrical. Antennae inserted laterally in front of the eyes, segments 1-8 narrow and weakly elongate, 9-11 much longer and a little wider, and the terminal segment elongate and rounded apically. Pronotum quadrate or slightly transverse, broadest about the middle and narrowed to obtuse posterior angles and rather obscure anterior angles, apical and basal margins simply curved and lateral margins with four or five variable but usually large teeth, surface strongly and discretely punctured throughout, without distinct basal impressions but with a variable oblique impression from the lateral margin in the basal third. Scutellum relatively large, triangular with curved sides and punctured as the pronotum. Elytra with rounded shoulders and parallel-sided or slightly dilated to a continuously curved apical margin, without distinct striae but strongly and randomly punctured throughout, these often form longitudinal series and some of these may be strongly impressed along the disc. Femora broad and smooth, without ventral teeth, tibiae narrow and without obvious apical spurs, tarsi 5-5-4 without lobed segments, claws smooth and without a basal tooth.

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