Meligethes solidus (Kugelann, 1794)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CUCUJOIDEA Latreille, 1802

NITIDULIDAE Latreille, 1802

MELIGETHINAE Thomson, C.G., 1859

MELIGETHES Stephens, 1829

A very widespread European species distributed from Spain east to the Caucasus and from Turkey to southern Scandinavia. In the U.K. the species occurs in south and east England north to south Yorkshire and Lancashire and there are records from coastal limestone and heathland on the north and south Welsh coast. A generally local species of calcareous dry grassland, meadows, hillsides and cliffs. Adults occur from April to September or a little later according to the season. The larvae develop within the unopened buds of common rock-rose, Helianthemum nummularium (L.)* Adults may be found in unopened buds or among the flowers and generally occur in numbers, being easy to see among the bright yellow petals etc. They have also been recorded from field bindweed, (Convolvulus arvensis L.).

Among the British species of Meligethes Stephens, 1830 only two have a well-marked tooth at the base of the claws and this feature, along with the surface structure of the pronotum and elytra, will identify M. Solidus. In fresh, well formed specimens the form of the front tibiae is enough to identify the species. 1.6-2.8mm Form short and convex. Dorsal surface dull black; pronotum and elytra strongly punctured and microscopically reticulate, especially around the lateral and basal margins of the pronotum. In addition to this combination of characters the pro tibiae are quite unlike those of any other British species; there are four very large and blunt teeth externally towards the apex.

*In the southeast common rock-rose is confined to calcareous soils on chalk and limestone but on more increasingly acid soil further north; in Scotland it has been recorded among heather on soils of pH 3.8.

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