Leptura quadrifasciata (Linnaeus, 1758)       Notable B

A very widely distributed albeit very local species occuring throughout mainland UK north to Easter Ross (Twinn and Harding), there are several areas with many post 1970 records; the southeast below the Thames, south Wales, the east midlands around the Humber and north Yorkshire; near coastal around Withy. Stated by Uhthoff-Neufmann (1988) to becoming scarcer. The adult beetles fly readily in hot sunshine and visit a range of flowers: we have seen them on various umbels and they are known to frequent angelica, bracken, brambles, hawthorn, hogweed, meadowsweet, ragwort, rubus, spiraea, thistles, valerian and woody nightshade (Uhthoff-Neufmann loc. cit.).
The species is polyphagous with larvae developing in dead or decaying wood, especially lower parts of standing trees, stumps, felled trunks and branches down to 15cm in diameter (Alexander), they inhabit wet or dry wood but dry wood is needed for pupation. Larvae bore meandering galleries in the outer sapwood in May or June (Bily and Mehl). A wide range of hosts has been recorded including alder, aspen, beech, birch (which may be the preferred host), hazel, oak, poplar, sallow, willow, elder and also various conifers eg picea and spruce. The life cycle takes two to three years and infestations often continue for several years. Adults generally occur from June to August but have been recorded as early as March.

11-20mm. Apical antennal segments, four macula on each elytron and, in the female only, anterior tibiae pale, otherwise black. Entire body and appendages clothed with short and dense pubescence; pale over elytral maacula otherwise mostly black. Head obliquely inclined to longitudinal axis of body. Vertex roughly sculptured and depressed medially, surface below antennae, including labrum, densely punctured. Eyes transverse, anterior margin with a deep, curved incision. Temples short and prominent in front of a narrow and prominent neck. Antennae longer in male; reaching to elytral apex, in female to middle of elytra. Second antennal segment short; almost quadrate, remainder elongate. Pronotum slightly transverse; campanulate with sharp, obliquely protruding hind angles. Without lateral sculpture or margins, constricted behind front margin and with a deep transverse furrow in front of bisinuate hind margins. Surface widely depressed either side of middle, with fine and dense puncturation, the pubescence may be testaceous near the basal margin. Elyta around 2.2 times longer than broad at the humerus, surface lustrous with fine puncturation. Apices obliquely truncate or incurved, with an acute tooth at external angle and another weaker tooth at sutural angle. Legs long and robust, femora not, or only weakly, clavate. Tibiae without teeth but with two well developed spurs inside at apex. First metatarsomere as lonf as others combined. Last segment of tarsi long and curved. Claws smooth and with a small basal tooth.

Typical elytral pattern is black with four transverse testaceous macula but these may vary in extent and in extreme cases the elytra are black with a small yellow humeral spot (Bily and Mehl).

Two species may be casually mistaken for quadrifasciata. In Judolia sexmaculata (L.) the elytra are black with three transverse yellow marks and rounded apically. A mostly northern Scottish species.
In L.aurulenta the legs and basal antennal segments are red and the anterior and posterior margins of the pronotum are fringed with yellow pubescence. A rare southern, mostly near coastal, species.

Description from 1 Dyfed specimen at X20 plus additions from Bily and Mehl

Reference
Uhthoff-Kaufmann, R.R. 1988 The Occurence of the genus Strangalia serville in the British Isles. Ent.Rec. 100:63-71.


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