Orsodace cerasi (Linnaeus, 1758)
This widespread Palaearctic species is locally common throughout most of Europe from Spain to Asia Minor in the south and from the UK and mid-latitudes of Fennoscandia to Siberia in the north; it is sporadic and local across England and Wales, extending north as far as Cumbria but absent from Scotland and Ireland. Adults are present from April until September or October, peaking in abundance during May and early June, typical habitats include mixed and broad-leaved woodland and wooded parkland with plenty of shrubby and herbaceous growth. They do not feed on foliage but are fully-winged and visit a range of flowers to feed on pollen and nectar, they are sometimes very abundant at hawthorn blossom and umbel flowers and often visit various trees in flower as well as blackberry (Rubus L.), goats beard (Aruncus spp.) and meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria (L.))etc. Mating occurs in late spring and early summer and pairs are easily observed on flowers, the male usually much smaller than the female and often contrasting in colour. Little is known of the life history but oviposition occurs in June and July and females have been observed laying eggs singly or in small groups on dead oak stems, larvae obviously develop through the summer and have been variously quoted as miners of oak petioles or as internal or external root feeders, they are known to overwinter but the site is unknown-either in the ground or among bark in the canopy-and they complete their development and pupate in the spring, the pupa remains unknown. Adults may be swept from foliage or searched for on flowers but they need to be examined closely as they may easily be confused with cantharids or chrysomelids.
4.5-8.0mm, females almost consistently larger than males, of characteristic appearance with prominent convex eyes and long, broad elytra, the colour varies widely from entirely black or dark blue to yellow or orange or any combination or pattern of these colours, and many colour varieties have been (pointlessly) named. Dorsal surface very finely microsculptured and almost glabrous, there are very short and pale hairs but these are usually only obvious on the head. Head hypognathous, finely punctured throughout, flat between prominent eyes and with short converging temples, clypeus and frons depressed and smooth, without impressed lines, antennae inserted laterally above the base of the mandibles, 11-segmented and filiform. Pronotum quadrate or slightly elongate, broadest about the middle and strongly constricted before obtuse posterior angles, surface without sculpture, strongly but not densely punctured, apical and basal margins smoothly curved, lateral margin not bordered. Scutellum triangular and smooth. Elytra with broad, rounded shoulders, almost parallel-sided and continuously curved apically, without striae, strongly and randomly punctured throughout. Legs long and robust, femora without ventral teeth, tibiae broadened towards truncate apices and all with two tiny apical spurs. Tarsi pseudotetramerous, only very slightly broader in the male, claws smooth and distinctly toothed at the base.
Orsodacne cerasi 1
Orsodacne cerasi 2
Orsodacne cerasi 3
Orsodacne cerasi 4