Apion haematodes Kirby, 1808

Female
Very common throughout the British Isles and generally by far the most common species of Apion. Associated with Sheep's Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) upon the roots of which the larvae feed causing galls. Adults appear in mid or late April and depending on season are abundant by mid May. Maximum numbers occur during mid June (Watford 2006/7) when sweeping 10m. transects of long grass on Common moor produced between 20 to 40 specimens. They remain common until September with individuals being found throughout October. Around Watford they occur wherever there is untended grass in open fairly dry conditions i.e. the ideal habitat for its foodplant. We have no doubt that the largest local population occurs on the eastern (dry) part of Common moor. Unlike the common A.frumentarium (L.) we have not yet found this species in winter.

2.1-2.8mm. Entirely orange but for eyes, claws and sometimes apices of tibiae which are black. The orange varies from very pale to almost red and all shades are found throughout the season. Antennae inserted just before middle of rostrum. Rostrum cylindrical and distinctly curved, a little shorter than pronotum (about 5:6) in both sexes . Head strongly punctured, a little more so than pronotum, cuticle shining between punctures, a narrow area in front of prothorax transversely striate from underside to (variously) the level of the top of the eyes. Pronotal shape varies from almost cylindrical to distinctly curved and widest at middle. Pronotum less densely punctate than head and cuticle finely microsculptured (X40) so less shining than head. Elytra strongly rounded, broadest behind middle, with deeply impressed striae which vary in width between specimens, at the widest as broad as interstices, puncturation of striae from strong, distinct and deep to shallow and obscured by surface structure. First and second striae joining ninth subapically.

Description from 30 Watford specimens at X30.

In the closely similar A.rubiginosum Grill., also from Sheep's Sorrel, the rostrum is almost straight and as long as pronotum in male and slightly longer in female.

Male

Female

Male

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