Phyllobius viridicollis (Fabricius, 1792)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CURCULIONOIDEA Latreille, 1802

CURCULIONIDAE Latreille, 1802

ENTIMINAE Schönherr, 1823

PHYLLOBIINI Schönherr, 1826

Phyllobius Germar, 1824

Parnemoicus Schilsky, 1911

This species is generally common and sometimes abundant from lowlands to middle mountain altitudes throughout central and northern Europe, extending south to central Italy and northern parts of the Balkan Peninsula and north to the UK and above the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia, to the east it is locally common in western Russia and has been recorded from western Siberia. It is locally common across most of England though generally absent from the West Country, the south east and Wales, it is sporadic and local in Scotland as far north as the Hebrides but is absent from Ireland. Adults become active from early March and persist into August, peaking in abundance during May and June, and specimens occasionally occur much later but it is not clear whether these belong to the next generation. The adults are polyphagous and have been recorded feeding on plants from a variety of families, e.g. on Rubus L., and Potentilla L. (Rosaceae), Lotus L., Trifolium L., and Lathyrus L., (Fabaceae), Primula L. (Primulaceae), and various grasses (Poaceae), less often on shrubs and trees though sometimes in abundance on willows (Salix L.), alders (Alnus Mill.) and more especially on young birch (Betula L.) Typical habitats are dry or moderately damp grassland, wasteland, verges and agricultural borders etc., while on the continent they also occur in more humid environments such as wet meadows and woodland borders on heavy soils, peat bogs, marshland, and they may be common along river valleys at higher elevations. Although locally common, large numbers are rarely recorded in the UK but on the continent it sometimes a pest of commercially grown soft fruits, saplings and willows grown for weaving. Mating occurs from early in the season and females lay small numbers of eggs directly into soil around suitable host material, the larvae feed externally on roots and while this is probably the main overwintering stage in northern Europe adults have been recorded very late and very early in the year, they complete their development in the spring and pupation occurs in the soil from early March. Adults may be sampled by sweeping suitable host material; sweeping close to the ground through clover etc. is sometimes productive, and they may also occur on blossom or umbel flowers in the spring.

Phyllobius viridicollis

Phyllobius viridicollis

3.0-4.8 mm. Typical of the genus with a narrow forebody and broad elytra, shiny black with metallic green scales to the head, pronotal margins, mesosternum and metasternum, elytra with sparse, fine and  pale setae, appendages reddish with the femora and antennal clubs darker. Head elongate with convex eyes and long diverging temples, surface with a longitudinal median impression from the posterior margin of the eyes to the apex of the broad and only slightly elongate rostrum. Scrobes placed laterally, visible from above towards the apex and straight to the anterior margin of the eyes, antennae long and robust; scape curved gradually broadened to the apex, basal funicular segments elongate, distal segments quadrate or nearly so, club narrow and pointed. Pronotum transverse, broadest slightly behind the middle and rounded laterally to straight basal and apical margins, surface evenly convex and strongly punctured, often confluently so. Elytra much broader than the pronotum, with broadly-rounded shoulders and a slightly produced apical margin, striae impressed and strongly punctured to the apex, very convex and with a steep but not vertical declivity. Femora without ventral teeth. Males may be distinguished by the almost parallel-sided elytra and apically angled margin of the front tibiae, in females the elytra are broadened towards the apex and the front tibiae are only weakly curved before the apex.