Agrilus viridis (linnaeus, 1758)      Notable A

A south eastern species occurring west to the New Forest and north to south Hertfordshire . Historically a species of the New forest but with recent records further afield suggesting an expansion of its range (Alexander). Adults are active in bright sunshine during June and July when they may be swept or beaten from the foodplant, typically Salix spp. Alexander quotes Grey or Goat Willow, Levey adds Quercus while Bily gives various species of Salix, Alnus, Betula, Carpinus, Corylus, Acer, Fagus and Tilia from northern Europe. Its presence on the Watford list is based on a single adult beaten from Salix cinerea (Grey Willow). Larvae develop under bark on branches of old and decaying Salix (coppiced, according to Levey) and stunted Quercus. Development takes one year with pupation in the spring.

5-9mm. (on the continent 4.5-11.5mm (Bily)). Uniclorous blue or green in male, head and pronotum cupreus in female. Head broad, more or less straight on front margin, clypeus gently convex with longitudinal rows of fine punctures. Eyes not projecting, continuous with outline of head. Pronotum transverse, 1.5-1.6X W/L, lateral margin almost straight, hind margin bisinuate. The central transverse ridge is shining, in the similar A.sinuatus (Ol.) this is dull due to obvious striate microsculpture (Levey). Elytra long, typically about 3.5X longer than width at base (Bily), widened after middle and with apical margin serrate. Elongate, slender and slightly diverging towards apex. Scutellum wide, around 0.25X width of pronotal base. Elytral pubescence very short, generally indistinct so insect appears glabrous. Last abdominal sternite more or less evenly rounded posteriorly, NOT emarginate or sinuate, this character will separate viridis from the close A.sulcicollis Lac. Antennal segments 10 and 11 of similar shape and size in male, in female 11 is narrower and smaller than 10. Posterior margin of mid femora smooth. All tarsi slender; segs. 1 and 2 of equal width, 3 wider and 4 strongly bilobed.

In the UK a morphologically narrow species but on the continent one of the most variable Buprestids; shows wide variation in size and colouration, also in structure of pronotum and shape of elytra. Adaegus varies according to foodplant. Many lower taxa have been described under the viridis species group but are generally regarded as ecological forms without specific or taxonomic value (Bily).

Description from 1 Watford specimen at X20.

Hodges, D.J. 2006. Agrilus viridis (L.) new to Hertfordshire. The Coleopterist 15:105.