Pityophagus ferrugineus (Linnaeus, 1760)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CUCUJOIDEA Latreille, 1802

NITIDULIDAE Latreille, 1802

CRYPTARCHINAE Thomson, C.G., 1859

Pityophagus Shuckard, 1839

This locally common species occurs sporadically throughout the Palaearctic region, extending south to North Africa, Asia Minor and Ukraine, and north to the UK and beyond the Arctic Circle in Fennoscandia and Russia. It is widespread but local across Wales and England north to Nottingham, though absent from the West Country and very local and generally rare further north to the Scottish Highlands. Typical habitats are all types of woodland, wooded parkland and pasture etc with a good proportion of trees in various stages of decay although adults have also been reported from among roots on arable land. The nocturnal adults are active over a relatively short season from late May until July or August, they may be found by searching recently dead wood on trunks, log stacks and fallen branches on warm summer nights, they also come to sap, are often recorded in flight-interception traps, and in commercial woodland they come to pheromone traps set for scolytid control. Adults tend to rest on areas of dry dead wood for prolonged periods and when they are found the surrounding wood should be searched carefully for other scolytid predators that are attracted to much the same conditions e.g. species of Thanasimus, Rhizophagus and Epuraea. Mating occurs throughout the season and females oviposit in bark beetle tunnels, being attracted to volatiles from occupied galleries. Larvae have been recorded from a wide range of trees including spruce, pine, oak, beech, alder and horse chestnut, they live within scolytid galleries where they predate larvae and pupae and while they are associated with a range of species, including Ips typographus (Linnaeus, 1758), I. duplicatus Sahlberg, 1863, and various species of Blastophagus Eichhoff, 1864 and Dendroctonus Erichson, 1836, in commercial woodland they have occurred more frequently in the galleries of several species of Hylastes Erichson, 1836 and Dryocoetus Eichhoff, 1864. The species is univoltine; larvae generally overwinter and complete their development in the spring, pupation may occur early in the spring but adults do not emerge from the wood until late spring or early summer.

4.6mm. Elongate, narrow and parallel-sided, entirely pale to dark brown but often with the head darker and the appendages paler, dorsal surface glabrous (pale and very short pubescence will be seen at very high magnifications), shiny and randomly punctured throughout. Head large and evenly convex, with small and weakly convex eyes (from above) and long converging temples (usually hidden within the pro-thorax), and strongly converging in front of the eyes to a rounded apical margin. Mandibles robust, strongly curved, and bidentate apically. Antennae inserted laterally in front of the eyes, 11-segmented with a broad and compact 3-segmented club. Pronotum quadrate, weakly convex and rather flattened across the disc, lateral and basal margins weakly curved, apical margin much more strongly so, anterior angles rounded, posterior angles sharp and obtuse. Pro-coxal cavities obliquely-transverse and extended towards the lateral prosternal margins, anterior coxae widely separated by a broad prosternal process, the apical margin of which is rounded and accommodated by a deeply emarginate anterior mesosternal margin. Elytra almost 2X longer than wide and slightly wider across the base than the base of the pronotum, shoulders sharply and slightly obtusely angled and lateral margins weakly curved to a continuously-rounded but almost truncate apical margin, surface without depressions or striae although there is a well-impressed sutural striae, at least in the apical half and in places the punctures are longitudinally confluent, especially at the base, giving the impression of short striae. Last two abdominal tergites exposed beyond the elytral apex. Legs short and robust, the tibiae strongly widened to truncate apices armed with a strong internal spur, tarsi 5-segmented; basal segments short and lobed ventrally, the terminal segment long and curved. Claws smooth and without a basal tooth.

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