Smaragdina salicina (Scopoli, 1763)
This widespread Palaearctic species occurs from Europe to Siberia and China; in Europe it occurs from Spain to Greece in the south and extends north to Denmark and the Baltic countries where it reaches southern provinces of Sweden and Finland. The species is locally common across central Europe from the Pyrenees to Germany and parts of Hungary and Poland but is otherwise very local and rare. There is a single UK record, from Buckinghamshire in 2011 when a single specimen was swept from a mixed hedgerow on chalk grassland in the Chiltern Hills. Typical habitats are damp grassland, thickets and scrub, open woodland and wetland margins although the diurnal adults fly and frequent flowers (especially Hawthorn blossom) in warm weather and so may occur away from their usual habitat. In Finland, where it is very rare, it also occurs in mixed woodland dominated by Spruce and with a rich herbaceous flora. Adults are active from April until July, peaking in abundance during May and June, and individual specimens are occasionally recorded during August, September, December and January, suggesting overwintering in the pupal stage. The biology is only poorly understood but females oviposit from May, enclosing small batches of eggs in silken sacks covered with faeces, and attaching them to foliage. Larvae are known to feed on willow (Salix L.) foliage and first instars have been described (Oglobin & Medvedev, 1971), but later instars and pupae are unknown. Adults feed on foliage of a range of broadleaf trees but are usually associated with willows and, less often, hawthorn.
Smaragdina salicina 1
Smaragdina salicina 2
4.5-6.5mm. Broadly elongate and discontinuous in outline, head dark, often almost black throughout, pronotum and legs orange, elytra dark metallic blue or greenish, antennae pale, becoming dark from the fifth segment. Head hypognathous and only narrowly visible from above, striated, finely punctured and broadly depressed between large and convex eyes. Antennae inserted laterally in front of the eyes, 11-segmented with segments 5-10 serrate. Pronotum transverse and very convex, broadest across rounded posterior angles and narrowed to rounded anterior angles and an almost straight apical margin, lateral and basal margins and lateral parts of the apical margin distinctly bordered. Pronotal surface evenly convex and sparsely and very finely punctured but for stronger punctures along the basal margin. Scutellum large, triangular and raised towards the apex, surface shiny and impunctate. Elytra dimorphic; in males almost parallel-sided and gradually narrowed from the middle to a continuous apical margin, in females distinctly dilated behind the middle. Elytral surface uneven, especially towards the base, with random and moderately strong punctures throughout, these often confluent near the suture, especially in the apical half. Legs short and robust, tibiae smooth, without obvious apical spurs, tarsi pseudotetramerous. Claws smooth and without a basal tooth.