Rutpela maculata (Poda, 1761)

Female
Widely distributed throughout England and Wales north to Northumberland. Locally common especially around woodland margins but by no means restricted to this habitat, it is found throughout Watford, often far from wooded areas. Commonly seen on warm sunny days flying around or feeding upon a variety of flowers, umbels of all kinds are chosen but there are many other favourites. Larvae develop within moist decaying wood of trunks and roots (Alexander), the principal host is Betula but the species is also known from Fraxinus, Sorbus, Fagus, Quercus and Salix. Conifers are also chosen e.g Picea ¹. Adults appear during mid or late may and, depending on season, are found until july or august.

15-17mm. Very distinctive. Thorax black and pubescent, not margined and without lateral teeth or tubercles but with a strong outwardly oblique tooth at hind angles. Head strongly contracted behind short temples and produced in front of eyes. Antennae finely pubescent, black with basal third of joints yellow, more extensively so in the female. Elytra strongly tapering and truncate apically, pubescent and usually distinctly patterned although extremely variable from albinistic to melanic. Many named aberrations have been found around the British Isles and, when the insect is found in numbers, at least some variation is usually obvious.

Description from 4 Watford specimens at X10

¹ UHTHOFF-KAUFMANN, Occurence of the genus Strangalia Serville in the British Isles. Ent. Rec. J. Var. 1983, 100:63-71


Female

Male

Male

Male

Male

Male

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