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Species Page - Lixus rubellus
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scientific name    Lixus rubellus    

habitat
Mesic (moist) habitats among herbs and shrubs, and in aquatic habitats (Anderson, 2002).

seasonality
Strickland Museum specimens (mostly from Alberta) were captured from May-July, with most in June.

identification
LeConte (1876) identified this species as being very long and slender in overall shape, and of intermediate size (approx. 8 mm). Its cuticle colour is described as brownish-black (with Strickland Museum collections specimens appearing much closer to reddish-brown), and this is veiled by a sparse coat of very short hairs that become more dense in lateral and ventral positions. The pubescence is grey in colour, but becomes somewhat yellowed in patches - on elytra tips the pubescence becomes so fine that it takes on a powdery appearance. The rostrum of this species is fairly slender, is slightly shorter than the prothorax in length, and bears slender antennae near its tip. The antennae possess a first joint of the funicle (antennal segments between basal scape segment and clubbed tip) that is broader than the second joint. The prothorax is longer than wide, with a gradual anterior taper. Its sides are almost straight, and its back edge forms a broad arc adjacent to each elytron, creating broad medial angle (backwards projection along the midline). A shallow median depression is situated directly ahead of the medial angle. Femora on the legs of this species are slender, and the legs are brown in colour. The distinctive elytral tips are drawn out into extended, divergent points with minor rounding on their tips. Punctures (pits) are fine and dense upon the rostrum, with interspersed large punctures and one large frontal puncture. The prothorax bears minute 'wrinkly' punctures, and some moderately sized shallow ones, while the elytra bear fine 'wrinkly' punctures in tightly-packed rows. Observation of specimens in the Strickland Museum collections suggests that the extended elytra tips, general reduction in pubescence dorsally, and close spacing of elytra punctures are the most diagnostic characteristics for this species.

life history
Females oviposit individual eggs into notches that they create in stems (Milne and Milne, 1980). Larvae burrow into stems, forming gall-like galleries where they then pupate (Blatchley and Leng, 1916). The adults emerge to feed on the soft tissues of various plants; often different plants from those used by larvae (Anderson, 1987). There appears to be only one generation per year.

conservation
Not of concern.

diet info
Adult specimens in the Strickland Museum holdings were collected from sage brush (Artemisia sp.), and the leaf of Populus balsamifera (poplar). It is not certain if these were the adult food plants. More compelling evidence comes from the observations of Lintner (as cited by Webster, 1892), where this species was seen congregating in large numbers upon the flowers of Polygonum amphibium (water smartweed), possibly because this is the food source for the larvae and adults.

range
Strickland Museum specimens include exemplars from AB, BC, and PEI (Canada). McNamara (2006) lists additional Canadian occurrences in ON, BC, MB, AB, SK, PQ, and NT. O'Brien and Wibmer (1982) provide US occurrences in CT, IL, MA, MI, NY, PA, VT, WI, AZ, CA, ID, OR, UT, WA, MN, MT, NE, NT, SA, SD, and WY.

notes
O'Brien and Wibmer (1982) list Lixus acutus LeConte 1857 as a junior subjective synonym of this species, but it is not widely used, so it is of little concern.

quick link
http://entomology.museums.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=5972



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References (9)
Specimen Info
There are 13 specimens of this species in the online database
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Adult Seasonal Distributioncreate a collection histogram with specimens
Specimen List (13)

 

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