Salpingus planirostris (Fabricius, 1761)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

TENEBRIONOIDEA Latreille, 1802

SALPINGIDAE Leach, 1815

SALPINGINAE Leach, 1815

Salpingus Illiger, 1801 

This species is generally common throughout western and central Europe north to the UK and central provinces of Fennoscandia, it extends east into western Russia and the Caucasus and south into North Africa, in many countries it is the most common member of the family and it may be increasing its range as it was first recorded from Bulgaria in 2008 and this represents the first record from southeast Europe. In the UK it is common throughout England and Wales and more local and scarce further north to the Scottish Highlands. Typical habitats are open deciduous woodland and parkland with trees in various stages of decay, here they may be abundant but they also occur on dead or dying wood on isolated trees in grassland, hedgerows and gardens etc., they have been recorded from a very wide range of deciduous trees and on the continent also from pine. Adults occur year-round; they are active over a long season from early spring and sometimes during mild winter periods, they overwinter among leaf-litter or in the soil below trees or among accumulated debris under loose bark. They are crepuscular and nocturnal and usually occur in numbers on the surface of dead wood, they are easily seen by torchlight but are photophobic and soon retreat into cracks in the wood or under bark. Both adults and larvae have been reported as saprophagous and we have found adults at sap on oak in local parks but both are also known to predate bark-beetle larvae; adults are attracted to traps containing bark-beetle pheromones and larvae have been found in the galleries of species of Anisandrus Ferrari, 1867, Ernoporus Thomson, C.G., 1859, Scolytus Geoffroy, 1762 and Trypophloeus Fairmaire, 1864. Adults should be looked for at night on any dead or damaged trees, they have even been recorded from holly (Ilex L.) and mistletoe (Viscus album L); they are abundant from June until September and we have found pale brown teneral adults in July, locally they tend to be common for a few years and then almost vanish for a year before returning in numbers.

Salpingus planirostris 1

Salpingus planirostris 1

Salpingus planirostris 2

Salpingus planirostris 2

Salpingus planirostris 3

Salpingus planirostris 3

3.0-3.5 mm. Easily identified among our UK fauna by the broad, flat rostrum and the colour; body glabrous and shiny dark metallic green or bronzy, without microsculpture, rostrum pale brown, legs yellowish-brown with darker femora, antennae pale with the club dark grey. Head with convex protruding eyes and straight converging temples, surface flat and moderately strongly punctured throughout, rostrum elongate, expanded and finely bordered in front of the antennal insertions and rounded anteriorly, last segment of the maxillary palps oval or slightly expanded internally. Antennae 11-segmented with a loose 4-segmented club. Pronotum broadest in front of the middle and narrowed to obtuse angles, basal margin straight, apical margin curved forward, surface evenly convex or sometimes with depressions towards the base, and punctured a little more strongly than the head. Elytra elongate-oval with rounded shoulders and a continuously curved apical margin, surface with an oblique depression in the basal third and with punctured striae from the base which fade towards the apex and  a scutellary striole consisting of only a few punctures. Legs long and slender; the middle and hind tibiae with a tiny spur on the inner apical margin, tarsi 5-5-4 without bilobed segments, the last segment long and curved, claws smooth and without a basal tooth.