Zilora ferruginea (Paykull, 1798)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

TENEBRIONOIDEA Latreille, 1802

MELANDRYIDAE Leach, 1815

MELANDRYINAE Leach, 1815

Zilora Mulsant, 1856

This is a very local and rare species, it is restricted to northern conifer forests and has been recorded from Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, north western Russia, United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden and Finland where it extends far beyond the Arctic Circle; in most of these countries it is very local and restricted to only a few sites and in the UK and Sweden it is classified as vulnerable. In the UK it was first discovered in 1871 at Braemar in the Cairngorm Mountains and since that time it has been found at several nearby locations where it persists to the present day. Adults are associated with conifer forests; on the continent among Larch (Larix Miller), Fir (Abies Miller), Spruce (Picea Miller) and Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) but in the UK   exclusively in rather open Pine woods. Adults have been recorded from April until August, they are diurnal and crepuscular and spend much of their time on pine trunks or among moss on logs and fallen timber, they fly well and on the continent have been attracted to recently burned pine branches. They are often associated with the Purplepore bracket fungus (Trichaptum abietinum (Dicks.) Ryvarden (1972)), which develops at the base of dead and dying Pine trees and is common throughout the UK, and adults have been found under bark. Little is known of the life history but larvae are thought to develop under bark, possibly in association with the fungus, and an adult was reared from a pupa found under bark on a decaying Pine stump. Without being guided to known sites, sampling will be by random luck, populations tend to ne small and occur over a small area and adults tend to be elusive.

4.0-9.0 mm. Long-oval and weakly convex with the forebody narrow compared with the elytra, entirely pale to dark brown, sometimes with the elytral humeri and/or suture obscurely paler, legs variable but usually paler than the body, antennae pale to dark brown, sometimes obscurely pale at the base but usually with at least the apex of the terminal segment pale. Head with convex and prominent eyes and straight, diverging temples, vertex and frons rather flattened, finely and densely punctured throughout and with long pale pubescence, labrum rounded anteriorly. Terminal maxillary palpomere securiform, penultimate segment broadened from the base. Antennae inserted laterally in front of the eyes, 11-segmented, the second segment short and almost quadrate, the rest elongate. Pronotum transverse, broadest about the middle and narrowed to obscure anterior angles and perpendicular or weakly-obtuse posterior angles, apical margin curved, basal margin weakly sinuate, surface slightly depressed laterally and with distinct basal fovea, otherwise evenly convex, less densely punctured and pubescent than the head. Elytra very elongate, with rounded shoulders, parallel laterally and continuously curved apically, randomly and quite densely punctured and pubescent throughout, in placed the punctures giving the impression of short transverse series, without striae but with variously-developed longitudinal depressions or faint ridges. Legs long and slender; the middle and hind tibiae with a pair of short terminal spurs, tarsi 5-5-4, without bilobed segments. Claws smooth and with a weak basal tooth.

Zilora ferruginea 1

Zilora ferruginea 1

© Lech Borowiec

Zilora ferruginea 2

Zilora ferruginea 2

© U.Schmidt

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