|Phyllobius pyri (Linnaeus, 1758)|
|Occurs throughout England, Wales and Scotland north to Wester Ross
(Morris). Generally common and often abundant although populations
fluctuate widely from year to year, around Watford they were abundant during 2005 and 2006 but much less so
during 2007 when may (more especially) and june were cool and wet. They may be found on a wide variety of trees
and shrubs, throughout our area usually appearing a few weeks before Crataegus flowers open i.e. early
or mid april depending on season. At this time they can be swept from shrubs in most habitats e.g. in my town centre
garden they were active on a Pyrrhalta infested Viburnum tinus
from mid april. Soon they become very common on Crataegus flowers; on Common moor beating these will produce
dozens. The earlier flowering Prunus spinosa harbours very few adults. Through may they seem to increase
in abundance and begin to appear everywhere; sweeping the many small Quercus saplings in Cassiobury park
will usually produce many adults at this time. During hot days in early june they may be swept from trees, shrubs
and surrounding vegetation anywhere in our area. We have recorded them from Fagus, Betula, Populus, Corylus,
Prunus arium and Alnus among many others, perhaps curiosly though not from Salix which is common around
Watford. They are generally found until late june.
An elongate, parallel sided species covered with dense golden or coppery green scales (unless rubbed) which was formerly a pleasure to record in the field with a hand lens; once familiar it is obvious. That has now changed with Dr. Morris' 1997 key introducing the closely similar P.vespartinus (Fab.).
4.7-7.5mm. Antennae red with darker apices, club gently broadened, scape curved posteriorly and with a strong 'kink' at base, sometimes darkened towards apex, their insertions obvious from above. Rostrum quadrate, measure from tip to front margin of eyes, scrobes appear as a deep circular pit around antennal insertions, behind this they extend to the eyes but this is not obvious as they tend to be filled with scales, between scrobes flat or a little concave. Eyes entire and strongly protruding. Head densely scaled, strongly and closely punctate throughout and without any striation behind eyes, flat or gently depressed between eyes. Pronotum narrower than elytra ¹, transverse (approx. 3:2) and closely punctured, sometimes confluently so, throughout (oblongus (L.)). Elytra elongate, less than twice as long as maximum width ², parallel sided or nearly so with prominent shoulders, covered in backwardly recumbent elongate and pointed scales, these are generally green with coppery or gold overtones throughout but sometimes there is a tendency to form a weakly defined elongate pattern. Without any erect setae (P.argentarius (L.), P.maculicornis Germar). Even in well rubbed specimens the metallic scalling is usually obvious laterally. Legs entirely orange or with femora and fore tarsi variously darker or metallic, sparsely pubescent throughout. Femora strongly toothed beneath and tibiae with a fine ridge on outer side which appears as a dark line. Claws united at base.
¹ In a series of 16 Watford specimens there were two (averaged) values for these measurements (is this due to sexual dimorphism?); pronotum:elytra, 31:45 and 32:54
² Again, two averages for elytral length; width, 96:53 and 84:44. In another series of 14 Watford specimens taken between 2004 and 2007 from various local sites the average ratio was 1.75
Description from 16 Watford specimens at X20