Exapion ulicis (Forster, 1771)

Female
Joy quotes this species simply as common without any regional qualification while Morris describes it as 'common and very abundant throughout England and Wales', the NBN map shows a wide distribution with modern records throughout England and Wales although there are many more in the west, especially western Wales and the lake district. In Scotland there are scattered records north to Inverness but none, apparently, from the islands. No doubt under recorded eg see Eakring which gives the first record for Sherwood forest (2009) for over a century (the site also pictures some excellent pictures of this species). Locally the species is abundant on Gorse (Ulex europaeus) growing on Common moor; we have swept adults in large numbers each month from January to June and also in Agust and September, we have not sampled the gorse outside these times. So far (2009) we have not recorded them from Gorse elsewhere in our area. Larvae develop within seed pods, two or three in each, and it is thought that other species of Ulex are likely to host the weevil.

1.9-2.5mm. A small, elongate species with long and slender legs and rostrum, upper surface covered, or nearly so, in elongate pale grey scales, these may appear dull green or yellowish but they are all of the same general colour. Elytral scales may be patchy but never form a pattern. Rostrum cylindrical and finely punctured, black or sometimes reddish beyond middle. In the female extending beyond the antennae, in the male shorter, not extending beyond the antennae. Antennal segments longer in female, basal segment curved in both sexes and club elongate and slender. Inserted at base of rostrum on a prominent lateral tooth. Eyes convex and completely bordered with scales. Vertex narrow and obscurely punctured, temples generally hidden under pronotum. Pronotum black, widest behind middle, narrowed to front margin and rounded to sinuate basal margin. Puncturation coarse and dense, microsculpture obvious at X40, and with a median longitudinal furrow in front of base although in most specimens this surface sculpture is obscured by scales. Elytra black or, if raised, dark red. Widest at, or a little behind, middle, the general shape varies from almost parallel sided to distinctly rounded. Striae broad and deep; on disc about half as wide as interstices, not obviously punctured. Interstices strongly shagreened and only obscurely punctured, especially towards base, base of interstices 6-8 raised into a strong humeral prominence. Although we have not taken the species in flight, the few specimens we have examined have been fully winged. Legs with elongate scaling, similar in colour to that on body. Leg colour varies but often, or usually, extensively red, femora and tarsi generally darkened at least to some extent.

Description from 12 Watford specimens at X40

Male

Female

Male

Female

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