Ochina ptinoides (Marsham, 1802)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

BOSTRICHOIDEA Latreille, 1802

PTINIDAE Latreille, 1802

ERNOBIINAE Pic, 1912

XESTOBIINI Böving, 1927

Ochina Dejean, 1821

A widespread and common species across southern and central Europe but more local and sporadic further north to Denmark and the UK, it also occurs across North Africa and Asia Minor, extending east into Turkey and the west of Russia. In the UK it is locally common across Wales and England north to Nottingham, although generally absent from the West Country and very local and scarce further north to the Scottish border and in the north of Ireland. Adults are active from early May until August and are generally associated with lavish growths of old ivy on trunks of various deciduous trees, they may occur wherever the host is abundant; woodland and wooded parkland but also in hedgerows and domestic gardens etc, early in the season they visit flowers, especially umbels and hawthorn blossom near to the host but more generally they remain among host foliage. They may be beaten from ivy at any time but are mostly crepuscular and nocturnal; they fly well and are attracted to light, often entering houses in the summer. Little is known of the biology but larvae are known to develop in older ivy stems with areas of damaged bark; freshly emerged larvae feed for a while under the bark but soon bore into the stems where they will develop and pupate in the autumn. Adults are easily sampled by beating old ivy above a net or tray, they readily come to light, regularly occur in flight-interception traps and they will usually be found in numbers.

Adults vary widely in size, from 2.0 to 3.8mm, and are rather nondescript narrow and elongate beetles but they may be recognized by the pattern of pale pubescence to the elytra which consists of two broad transverse bands, one towards the base and one in the apical quarter which usually does not extend to the apex. Entire body brown, often with the pronotum a little darker than the head and elytra and usually with the elytra reddish towards the apex, legs usually a little paler and antennae pale yellowish-brown. Head prognathous and mostly hidden from above, with large spherical eyes, wide and flat frons and prominent mandibles. Antennae 11-segmented in both sexes; the basal segment broad and curved, the second globose and the remainder elongate and weakly serrate. Pronotum highly arched, broadest towards the base and narrowed to perpendicular anterior angles, basal and apical margins strongly curved  and lateral margins explanate and sinuate before rounded posterior angles, surface finely punctured and with sparse long, pale pubescence throughout. Elytra with rounded shoulders and slightly dilated before a continuously-rounded apical margin, finely and randomly punctured throughout and lacking striae, pubescent throughout but with longer pale pubescence forming a characteristic pattern. Legs slender and moderately long with femora only narrowly visible in normal setting, tibiae only weakly expanded to truncate apices, the front tibiae more rounded, and with a very fine and short spur at the inner apical angle. Tarsi 5-segmented; the basal segment elongate, the third and fourth segments lobed below and the terminal segment elongate and broad, claws small, fine and broadly toothed at the base.

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