Elateridae of the British Isles

Selatosomus cruciatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Size – 9-15mm.

Description – A striking species with brown and orange patterned elytra and pronotum. Ridges are strong down the elytra and a covering of hairs is not obvious. Legs are brown and antennae are the the length of the head and pronotum.

Distribution – Extinct in Britain. Historic records from the Windsor area (Stephens, 1830) and Windsor Forest (Donisthorpe, 1939).

Biology РLarvae develop underground in sandy, wet soils feeding on the roots of horsetails (Equisetum spp.) and possible other plant species. Imago insects appear in early May and are active until late June. They can be found resting on the trunks of Oak (Quercus spp.) and Beech (Fagus sylvatica) and by beating the foliage of various tree species such as Oak, Beech, Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), Poplar (Populus spp.), Aspen (Populus tremula) and Hazel (Corylus avellana). Also rests quite conspicuously on the flowers of Umbellifer species, particularly Rough Chervil (Chaerophyllum temulum).

Habitat – Broadleaved woodland.

Photo by D. Dolivo-Dobrovolskiy courtesy of www.zin.ru/Animalia/Coleoptera

Photo by D. Dolivo-Dobrovolskiy courtesy of www.zin.ru/Animalia/Coleoptera