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Orchesia micans (Panzer, 1793)






POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

TENEBRIONOIDEA Latreille, 1802



Orchesia Latreille, 1807

This species is locally common throughout the Palaearctic region from Spain to the Pacific coast of Russia, in Europe it extends from the Mediterranean, including most of the islands, north to the UK and above the Arctic Circle in Fennoscandia, it occurs across Asia Minor and is present in North Africa. In the UK it is generally common across England and Wales though more local in the West Country and the north above Nottingham, it is absent from Scotland and in Ireland there are a few scattered records from the north. Adults occur over a long season from April until September or October, peaking in abundance during May and June although specimens have been recorded as early as February. Typical habitats include deciduous woodland and wooded parkland with a good supply of dead and decaying trees, they are nocturnal and will generally be found low down on the surface of dead bark or among crumbling wood in the vicinity of sporophores, they usually occur in pairs or in small numbers but they occasionally swarm over logs and fallen timber in the spring and at this time mating pairs are common. The species is associated with a wide range of fungi growing on various deciduous trees, larvae have been found developing in sporophores of Inonotus hispidus (Bull.:Fr.) P. Karst. (on ash), I. rheades (Pers.) Fiasson & Niemelä, I. obliquus (Pers: Fr.) Pilát, I. radiatus (J. Sowerby: Fr.) P. Karst. (on alder), I. cuticularis (Bull.) P. Karst. (on oak) and Fistulina hepatica (Schaeff. ) With, (on oak) while adults have been recorded from a much wider range of fungi; often at Fomes fomentarius (L.) Fr., Phellinus igniarius (L.) Quél. (on willow etc) and Mensularia radiata (Sowerby) Lázaro ibiza (on alder) but also many others. Larvae develop through the summer and most likely pupate in late summer to produce the adults which sometimes occur in numbers at this time and which will overwinter. Adults will need to be looked for carefully, they fall to the ground, jump or run rapidly when disturbed and are easily lost, tapping fungus over a net may produce them but during the day they may retract their appendages and remain still for some time and so care is needed to find them. They fly and may occasionally be found by sweeping foliage or blossom in the spring.

Orchesia micans

Orchesia micans

3.5-5.5 mm. Long-oval and continuous in outline, entirely dark red to almost black, often with the forebody darker than the elytra and sometimes with the elytral margins a little paler, dorsal surface finely punctured and pubescent throughout. Head hypognathous and only narrowly visible from above, evenly convex with weakly convex kidney-shaped eyes and securiform palps, interocular distance much less than the distance between the antennal insertions, antennae gradually thickened to the apex, segments 9-11 wider and longer than the preceding segments. Pronotum transverse, almost twice as wide as long, broadest across acute posterior angles and smoothly rounded anteriorly, surface evenly convex and without distinct basal fovea. Elytra elongate and gradually curved to a continuously rounded apical margin, without distinct striae although the sutural margin may be depressed, especially in the apical half, punctures fine and dense, often forming transverse patterns. Legs long and robust, the femora only narrowly visible in normal setting, front and middle tibiae slender and with small apical spurs, hind tibiae short, broad and flattened, with two very long apical spurs. Tarsi 5-5-4, penultimate segment of front and middle tarsi deeply lobed but slender, hind tarsi without lobed segments, the basal segment very long, a little longer than the tibial spurs.

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