Tituboea biguttata (Olivier, 1791)
Tituboea Lacordaire, 1848 includes about 30 species, it is centered around the Mediterranean but species are also known from the Middle East and South Africa, the genus is in need of revision as some species are based on short series or even individual specimens and many of the species are variable e.g. T. attenuata (Fairmaire, 1875) from Tunisia and Algeria, was synonymised with the present species in 2009, This western Mediterranean species occurs from Southern Portugal to Italy in the north and from Morocco to Libya in the south, also known from Gibraltar, Sardinia and Sicily. It is sometimes quoted from Greece and the Near East but these records may refer to another species; it is among the commonest members of the tribe within this region and the dorsal pattern varies considerably, there are also many local populations that vary slightly in the structure of the aedeagus and protarsal development. Typical habitats are open grassland, scrub and wooded margins with plenty of herbaceous vegetation and exposed to the sun. Adults occur year-round and are active over a long season from March until November, they fly frequently and visit flowers although they feed on a range of foliage, often various oaks but also other trees and, in Libya, they have been swept in numbers from Junipers. The biology is broadly similar to our own Clytra; eggs are deposited near or on ant hills and are taken into the nests by ants, once inside the larvae construct protective cases from saliva and detritus so that only the head and front legs are exposed, and here they will develop and pupate. New generation adults appear in numbers during the summer and these will (no doubt) go on to overwinter, but otherwise little is known of the biology.
7.5-10.0mm. Head usually entirely black, pronotum extensively black in males, extensively orange in females, elytra orange, usually with black spots; one on the shoulder, two placed longitudinally along the centre and one or two along the lateral margin. Both the pronotum and elytra vary widely and there are several named aberrations, in extreme cases the elytral spots may be enlarged and confluent or almost entirely missing. Appendages usually entirely black. Males may be recognized by their longer front tibiae and tarsi when compared with females.