jeremyr's picture

Pear Shortwing Beetle

Observed: 24th June 2012 By: jeremyrjeremyr’s reputation in Invertebratesjeremyr’s reputation in Invertebratesjeremyr’s reputation in Invertebratesjeremyr’s reputation in Invertebratesjeremyr’s reputation in Invertebrates
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Description:

On hogweed in damp grassland scrub. some fruit trees nearby including Pear

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Pear Shortwing Beetle (Glaphyra umbellatarum) interacts

Comments

Martin Harvey's picture

size

I was pretty certain of this being Glaphyra until I saw your size measurement - was it really 12-15mm long? If so then I'm back to being unsure, but the shape and colour, and the antennae, look much more like Glaphyra to me.

It does look quite small against those flowers doesn't it?

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Entomologist and biological recorder

jeremyr's picture

size

it was fairly small, as you can see from the hogweed flowers. It could well have been under 15mm? If the names mean anything there were pear trees nearby but no spruce

as I had literally just started looking at insects, I probably would have mistaken basal segment for the head attachment (equiv. of coxae?) instead of segment one. Looking now I agree they're a similar length. I recall too that it was in evening shade and too small even to recognise as a beetle, so my sizing is unreliable. I thought too that the antennae were much too long for Glaphyra, but am not as sure now.

Habitat seems right for pear shortwing, plenty of fruit trees about but no conifers

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Martin Harvey's picture

names

The names aren't that precise, but Molorchus develops in conifers while Glaphyrus is in deciduous trees, including fruit trees, and shrubs. But both visit flowers as adults.

Individual Hogweed florets can be between 5mm and 10mm diameter according to my books, so that doesn't help us pin down the size, but my feeling is that this beetle looks quite small, so my vote remains with Glaphyrus - and regardless of size the other features seem to match that better I think.

Nice find, I've only seen it once!

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Entomologist and biological recorder

jeremyr's picture

specimens/recording

would you collect a beetle like this, and if so, would it be pinned like a fly? Or kept in alchohol? I wouldn't have dreamt of taking it at the time but since a particular syrphid I'm merrily collecting various species that aren't readily identifiable from photos.

On another matter, I noticed your name beside the recording scheme for the Allies. Would that include Solva marginata, or should I assume anything on ispot is automatically sent to the appropriate scheme?

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latest pics and diptera videos

Martin Harvey's picture

recording/specimens

I have recently taken on the recording scheme for Larger Brachycera, an interesting group of flies (soldierflies, robberflies, bee-flies etc.) that I wish we could come up with a better name for than Larger Brachycera!

Solva is one of the species in this group, and I hadn't seen your observation (I have now!), nor indeed have I yet seen that species in the field, looks very smart doesn't it.

Observations on iSpot are being passed on to the recording schemes, see:
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/308375

I haven't yet done anything with the Larger Brachycera data on iSpot, but I will be doing so. So there is no need to take any further action for your observations on iSpot, but if you have more records of these species then I would be very glad to see them. You can either send them to me direct (contact me via my website) or add them to iRecord:
http://www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/

Regarding beetle specimens, they're usually stored dry (although I think some people keep water beetles in alcohol with other aquatic groups), and traditionally they are carded rather than pinned, although there are pros and cons to both approaches. I used to pin mine, now I card them. For (extensive) details on how to card beetles see Mark Telfer's excellent website:
http://markgtelfer.co.uk/beetles/techniques-for-studying-beetles/carding...

The Natural History Museum has a page on pinning beetles:
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/collections-at-the-museum/making-part...

and for more on pinning from a dipterist's viewpoint see Chris Raper's comprehensive introduction to curating insect specimens:
http://chrisraper.org.uk/blog/?page_id=91

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Entomologist and biological recorder