Spondylis buprestoides Westwood, 1830

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CHRYSOMELOIDEA Latreille, 1802

CERAMBYCIDAE Latreille, 1802

SPONDYLIDINAE Audinet-Serville, 1832

This generally common species is occurs throughout much of the Palaearctic region except for the far north and the UK; the distribution extends from Portugal and Spain east to Siberia, Mongolia, Korea, China, Japan and Sakhalin Island. Specimens very occasionally occur in the UK and are thought to emerge from imported timber.

Adults are active from June to August, earlier or later depending on latitude etc. and are crepuscular or nocturnal, spending the day at rest among loose bark at the base of stumps and trunks, they do not feed and they are strong fliers, capable of dispersing over wide areas and they are strongly attracted to light.  Mating occurs on the ground close to the host plants which include various conifers, mostly Scots Pine, but also other pines and occasionally Norway spruce, Larch and Fir. After mating the females deposit small white eggs, around 2mm in length, among bark crevices low down on the host, sometimes digging deep into the soil to lay eggs among the roots. In general, damaged or decaying stumps or trunks are chosen. Larvae initially feed under bark, causing galleries up to 1 cm wide but larger larvae bore into the xylem and excavate galleries up to 80 cm long which are packed with fibres and frass. After progressing down inside the trunk the tunnel turns perpendicular and ends in a pupal chamber 3 or 4 cm in length and around a centimetre from the wood surface, it is generally constructed a few centimetres below ground to around 75 cm above it.  The larvae are white with dark, heavily sclerotized head and mandibles, and they grow up to 35mm long and the apex of the ninth segment carries characteristic, widely spaced urogomphi. Overwintering always occurs in the larval stage. Pupation occurs from early in the year, from February until June, depending on latitude, and the pupa is distinctive; yellowish and up to 24mm in length. Adults emerge in early June through round exit holes 5 to 7 mm in diameter. A single stump or trunk may be riddled with galleries and in infested standing trees usually topple during winter gales. Development takes between 2 and 4 years.

Spondylis buprestoides

Spondylis buprestoides

10-23mm. A robust and convex species with a large head and huge mandibles. Body entirely dark brown or black, the upper surface with extremely fine, yellow pubescence.  Appendages relatively short and stout. Antennae reaching back to about the humeral angles; segments short and parallel sided or weakly serrate. Head transverse, densely punctured and sculptured and expanded laterally in front of reniform eyes placed some distance behind antennal insertions. Mandibles with two large teeth towards base, densely punctured and finely pubescent. Pronotum quadrate or slightly transverse, widest a little behind middle and evenly curved to rounded front angles, and more strongly constricted towards base, lateral margins without borders or teeth, apical and basal margins with short and dense yellow pubescence. Elytra across shoulders much wider than base of pronotum, near-parallel sided and evenly rounded to the apex, strongly bordered laterally and with almost vertical epipleura. Entire surface with coarse and rather close punctures as well as dense very fine punctures, each elytron with two raised carinae, generally about four fifths of the elytral length, and a shorter one outside of these although this may be obliterated. Tibiae and entire underside with short, pale pubescence, all tibiae toothed along outer margin, the hind tibia finely so. Front and mid-tibiae broadly produced ventrally and with a fine spur at the inner apical angle, hind tibia with two strong ventral teeth and broadened apically.

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