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Ropalodontus perforatus (Gyllenhal, 1813)







POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

TENEBRIONOIDEA Latreille, 1802

CIIDAE Leach, 1819

CIINAE Leach, 1819

CIINI Leach, 1819

Ropalodontus Mellié, 1847

This species is widespread though local and generally scarce across the Northern Palaearctic region, extending east from Europe into Siberia and Eastern Russia. It is occurs sporadically throughout Europe, from northern Spain to central Italy and the Balkans in the south, and extending to the UK, Denmark, and beyond the Arctic Circle in Fennoscandia. In central and southern regions it tends to be confined to montane and upland primary forests while in the north it occurs more generally. Here it is very local though widespread in the central and northern Scottish Highlands although the range may well prove to be more extensive (Evans, 2010). The usual habitat is deciduous or mixed woodland with plenty of wood in various stages of decay. The species is generally associated with fruiting bodies of Fomes fomentarius (L.ex Fr.) Kickx. mostly on various birches (Betula L.), but also on beeches (Fagus L.) and other deciduous trees, but they have also been recorded from Piptoporus betulinus (Bull. Ex Fr.) P. Karst on various deciduous trees. Adults are present throughout the year; they overwinter in sporocarps or under adjacent bark, and are active March until October peaking in abundance during late spring and early summer. Both adults and larvae are mycophagous, and the entire life-cycle occurs within the fungus. Adults are fully winged and probably disperse by flight during warm spring evenings or nights, but they have not been recorded from light or flight-interception traps. Despite being very local, infestations tend to last several years until the fungus is reduced to dust, and large numbers of adults may occur in large numbers in a sample. Older fungi should be taken for sampling, especially those with a spongy texture or showing signs of damage or decay (fresh or excessively damp specimens tend to be ignored by adults), they should be stored in a cool and dry container and inspected during the spring as adults may emerge suddenly in large numbers.

Ropalodontus perforatus 1

Ropalodontus perforatus 1

© Udo Schmidt

Ropalodontus perforatus 2

Ropalodontus perforatus 2

© Lech Borowiec

1.8-2.2 mm. Elongate (body about 2X longer than wide), parallel-sided and discontinuous in outline, body brown or with the head and pronotum darker, antennae pale with darker clubs, legs brown, often paler than the body. Pronotum and elytra with long, semi-erect pale pubescence. Head hypognathous and mostly hidden from above, vertex weakly convex between small and slightly protruding eyes, frontoclypeal suture distinct. Clypeus in males with two yellowish and pubescent teeth, clypeus in females simple. Antennae 10-segmented with a loose 3-segmented club; segments 3 & 4 elongate and about equal in length, segment 9 transverse. Pronotum transverse, broadest at or slightly behind the middle and narrowed to obtuse posterior angles and a rounded apical margin, basal margin finely bordered, at least towards the angles, surface finely but not densely punctured throughout. Elytra parallel-sided in the basal half then smoothly narrowed to a continuous apical margin, surface evenly convex and randomly (there may be a tendency towards rows in places) punctured throughout, more strongly so than the pronotum. Front tibiae gradually expanded and with a series of external teeth in the apical third or so. Middle and hind tibiae rather abruptly expanded and with smaller, more numerous teeth around the curved apical margins. Tarsi 4-segmented; basal segments short and lobed below, terminal segment long and smoothly thickened from the base. Claws smooth and distinctly toothed at the base.

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