Psilothrix viridicoerulea (Geoffroy, 1785)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CLEROIDEA Latreille, 1802

DASYTIDAE Laporte, 1840

DASYTINAE Laporte, 1840

Psilothrix K├╝ster, 1850

A widespread and locally common lowland species occurring mostly in southern and western parts of Europe, more especially around the Mediterranean and the islands, with populations reaching north into central and northern areas including Denmark and the UK, also from North Africa; Morocco, Algeria and Libya, and Asia Minor. Adults are active in warm weather from April until July or August and generally occur in numbers on flowers in grassland, pasture and meadows etc. Of the ten European species of Psilothrix this is the most widespread and the only one extending north to the UK, here it is generally common on sand dunes and behind beaches etc. along the south coast from Kent to north Cornwall including the Isle of Wight and there are scattered records from the north coast of Wales, Anglesey and Norfolk where it has also been recorded inland, this is in contrast with e.g. France where it is common throughout, but may mirror a decrease in range or abundance seen in e.g. Germany where it has suffered a recent decrease and is now classed as endangered.  Adults feed on pollen and may be observed on a wide range of flowers; a single male will usually occupy a flower and mate with any females that arrive, other males may settle but leave very quickly, and mating proceeds through much of the season. Females are thought to oviposit in flowerheads or among litter etc. and developing larvae have been observed in herbaceous stems, leaf-litter and among decaying wood, they feed initially on dead insects on the ground or are predatory and then become phytophagous, boring into stems where they feed upon sap. They remain in stems etc. through the winter and pupate in situ in the spring, adults boring their way out from April.

Psilothrix viridicoerulea 1

Psilothrix viridicoerulea 1

Psilothrix viridicoerulea 2

Psilothrix viridicoerulea 2

Psilothrix viridicoerulea 3

Psilothrix viridicoerulea 3

Psilothrix viridicoerulea 4

Psilothrix viridicoerulea 4

In the UK this large and entirely bright metallic green or bluish green species might only be confused with various oedemerids which may appear superficially similar in the field but here, most obviously, the antennae are filiform and very long and the hind tarsi are 4-segmented with the third segment deeply bilobed. 4.8-5.0mm. Elongate and discontinuous in outline, dorsal surface bright metallic green or bluish green, sometimes with the forebody and elytra contrasting, with moderately long and erect dark pubescence. Head and pronotum strongly and densely punctured, the punctures often adjacent but not confluent. Head weakly convex with large convex eyes and short temples, antennae inserted laterally in front of the eyes, 11-segmented and weakly serrate. Pronotum transverse, evenly curved and narrowly explanate laterally to obtuse anterior and posterior angles and variously longitudinally impressed on the disc. Elytra elongate and continuously rounded apically, near parallel-sided in the male, dilated from the basal third in the female, randomly punctured and without striae although there may be one or two longitudinal impressions on the disc, punctures weaker and less dense than those on the pronotum, cuticle transversely rugose on places, generally strongest near the suture. All tarsi 5-segmented, segments not bilobed; at most weakly lobed below.

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