Phytoecia (Opsilia) caerulescens (Scopoli, 1763)
[= Opsilia coerulescens (Scopoli, 1763)]

Subfamilia: LAMIINAE  /  Tribus: PHYTOECIINI
Phytoecia caerulescens
[Photo © Jean-Yves Rasplus]
Phytoecia caerulescens
[Photo © M.Hoskovec]

Phytoecia (Opsilia) caerulescens is a very common and broadly distributed species (Europe, North Africa, Near East, Asia Minor, etc.). It develops in herbaceous plants such as Echium, Cerinthe, Cynoglossum, Anchusa, Symphytum, Lithospermum, Lappula, Lycopsis, etc. The larva of Opsilia coerulescens feeds in the roots of the host. Later the larva girdles the plant stalk above ground level and secures this part with a wad of fibrous frass (see the P. caerulescens biology page). In the autumn the attacked stalks are regularly broken at the girdle by wind. Surprisingly, the adults do not leave the substrate via the already created opening (by simply removing the wad) but create a new one in the side of the stalk.

Body length:6 - 13 mm
Life cycle:1 year
Adults in:April - July
Host plant:polyphagous in in herbaceous plants
Distribution:Europe, North Africa, Near East, Asia Minor

The depicted beetles were collected on their host plant (Echium italicum) in Areopoli in Areopolis (Lakoonia nomos, SW of Peloponnese peninsula, Greece) and in Sussargues (Hérault, France).

Collected by M.Hoskovec and Jean-Yves Rasplus

Subfamilia: Lamiinae Latreille, 1825
Tribus: Phytoeciini Mulsant, 1839
Genus: Phytoecia Dejean, 1835
Subgenus: Opsilia Mulsant, 1863
Species: Phytoecia (Opsilia) caerulescens (Scopoli, 1763)