|Leptura aurulenta Fabricius, 1793 The Hornet Beetle Notable A|
A very local species of the southern counties of England;
Twinn and Harding show post 1970 records from West
Sussex, south Hants (New Forest), south Devon and south Cornwall west to the Lizard. Formerly more widespread; Joy
quotes'England,S.,Wales,S. very rare'; Uhthoff-Kaufmann (1988) lists records further north from Middx and Herts (etc)
and from Wales and states also that Fowler records the species from Scotland but without details. In that work the
species is said to be not common in a number of counties and apparently spreading slowly in Wales. The specimen
figured is from Brockenhurst, Hants (June, 2009). Adults emerge during June and July and may be found until August
or September, they fly readily and frequent flowers; Uhthoff-Kaufmann (loc cit) records them by sweeping angelica,
bramble, broom, pyrus, scabious and various conifers. Larvae develop in dead or decaying stumps (etc) of various
broadleaved trees, more especially oak but also associated with alder, ash, aspen, beech, birch, horsechestnut,
cherry, spanish chestnut, walnut and willow (Duffy, 1953
14-20mm (Joy) Head and pronotum black, elytra black with four transverse yellow or reddish yellow macula, in our species these reach the side margin. Duffy (1954) states legs and basal segments of antennae red' whereas Joy states 'Antennae and legs black in male, more or less reddish yellow in female'. Front of head obliquely inclined to longitudinal axis of body, strongly microsculptured and without distinct puncturation, with dense backwardly recumbent golden pubescence (view from front).Eyes transverse with a semicircular incision on front margin (this accommodates the antennae when held over the head), temples short and protruding in front of a short and proportionately narrow neck. Second antennal segment small and a little transverse, remainder elongate. Pronotum without lateral teeth or borders; parallel or nearly so behind slightly protruding front angles. Surface finely punctured and with dense, short black pubescence, front and hind margins fringed with longer golden pubescence. Strongly constricted behind front margin and with a deep transverse furrow in front of bisinuate hind margin. Hind angles sharp and obliquely produced. Scutellum elongate with sides incurved. Elytra with fine puncturation throughout, without any hint of striae. Pubescence dense and backwardly or obliquely recumbent; colour matches that of the underlying cuticle. Suture and side margins strongly bordered. Apex obliquely incurved; suture (weakly) and outer angle (strongly) produced into a tooth. Apical margin of abdominal sternites fringed with long golden pubescence. Legs robust; femora not clavate, tibiae without teeth but with two well developed spines at apex. Tarsi 5-5-5, third segment bilobed. First segment of metatarsi as long as the remainder together. Claws robust, smooth and without, or with only a very weak basal tooth.
Description from 1 Hampshire specimen at X20
Two species may be casually mistaken for aurulenta. In Judolia sexmaculata (L.) (8-11mm) the elyta are black with three transverse yellow macula and rounded apically. A mostly northern Scottish species.
In L.quadrifasciata the appendages are mostly black and the pronotum lacks the golden pubescence behind the anterior and posterior margins.
Duffy, E.A.J. 1953 A monograph of the immature stages of British and imported timber beetles. London
Uhthoff-Kaufmann, R.R. 1988 The Occurence of the genus Strangalia serville in the British Isles. Ent.Rec. 100:63-71.