Tropideres albirostris (Schaller, 1783)
POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886
CURCULIONOIDEA Latreille, 1802
ANTHRIBINAE Billberg, 1820
TROPIDERINI Lacordaire, 1865
Tropideres Schönherr, 1823
Widespread in Europe from Portugal to Italy and Ukraine in the south and extending north as far as Denmark, Estonia and some southernmost parts of Sweden, also recorded from North Africa and Siberia. With the exception of France, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands and parts of Germany, where it is sporadic but sometimes locally common, the species is generally very local and scarce throughout Europe. There are no confirmed records from the UK; it is included in our list on the strength of a few early 19th century records from Norwich that were included by Fowler (1891) but ignored by Joy, and if the species ever really occurred here it is certainly now long extinct. The usual habitat is open broadleaf and mixed woodland, often on light or sandy soils and usually exposed to the sun, although adults are sometimes recorded from a range of both broadleaf and conifer trees in parks or hedgerows etc. Adults are present year-round, they overwinter among litter or under bark etc. and are active from April until September or October, peaking in abundance during May. Larvae are known to develop through the summer in decaying twigs and small branches of broadleaf trees; often oaks (Quercus L.), beech (Fagus L.) and poplars (Populus L.) and less so other species. Adults are mainly nocturnal but they often bask on shaded trunks and branches on warm sunny days, at night they are active on trunks and fallen wood, there seems to no particular association with fungi, and they often occur alongside the buprestid, Anthaxia salicis (Fabricius, 1781) and the cerambycid, Plagionotus arcuatus (Linnaeus, 1758).
3-6 mm. Broadly-elongate and discontinuous in outline, head black with scattered white pubescence, rostrum with dense white pubescence, pronotum and elytra patterned with light and dark grey pubescence, elytra with three variable transverse bands of white pubescence, the posterior band usually united medially with the apical band, antennae entirely dark, legs, including the first tarsomere, dark with bands of pale pubescence. Head densely punctured between large and almost circular eyes that are entirely visible from above, rostrum quadrate or nearly so, smoothly incurved from the base and rounded apically, scrobes situated laterally and not visible from above, dorsal surface with several fine longitudinal ridges. Antennae inserted laterally slightly beyond the centre of the rostrum, 11-segmented with a long and slender 3-segmented club. Pronotum transverse, broadest behind the middle and narrowed to a weak subapical constriction, apical margin weakly curved, basal margin strongly bisinuate, surface uneven and moderately-strongly but not densely punctured throughout, with a fine transverse ridge and often with broad tubercles towards the base, and always with two oblique depressions in the basal half that almost converge on the disc. Scutellum small but obvious and usually covered with dense white pubescence. Elytra elongate and sub-parallel from broad and rounded shoulders to a continuous apical margin, surface with strongly punctured striae and interstice that vary in width; the odd-numbered interstices usually wider and more convex, and the third with a broad tubercle towards the base. The white elytral markings vary a little but in general are sufficient to identify the species, certainly among our UK fauna. Legs long and slender with unarmed femora and tibiae hardly thickened from the base. Tarsi pseudotetramerous; the second segment partly enclosing the third, and the diminutive fourth segment concealed within the deeply-lobed third segment. Claws smooth and without a basal tooth, orange, contrasting with the mostly dark tarsi.