|scientific name Lixus terminalis |
Mesic (moist) habitats among herbs and shrubs, and in aquatic habitats (Anderson, 2002).
April-August (plus one questionable January specimen) in collections, most from April-June.
LeConte (1876) diagnosed this species as moderately large (9-11 mm), generally slender, and with a black cuticle overlain by fine, somewhat patchy, ashen-grey hairs. The background cuticle colour appears much closer to walnut-brown in our museum specimens. Separated, rounded posterior elytra tips are the key distinguishing feature for this species, it is otherwise fairly similar to Lixus rubellus Randall 1838. Within L. terminalis, the rostrum is as long as the prothorax, relatively thickened, and bears antennae near its anterior tip (1/5th of the way from the tip). The antennae have a first joint of their funicle (antennal segments between basal scape and clubbed tip) that is broader than the second joint. The prothorax is longer than it is wide, is dorsally rounded but with straight sides, and is broader than the elytra. Notches for accepting the fronts of the elytra appear almost straight in their lateral extremes, and the anterior constriction of the prothorax is gentle, giving it a rather boxy appearance. The medial angle (backwards projection along the midline of the prothorax) is small and pointed, and is situated just behind a dorsal impression which itself becomes shallower anteriorly, almost reaching the anterior edge of the prothorax. The femora of the legs are slightly club-shaped. There are punctures (pits) that are fine and dense upon the rostrum (becoming coarser on its sides). Punctures upon the prothorax are a mixture of interspersed fine and coarse pits; and are coarse, moderately deep, and widely spaced in a linear arrangement upon the elytra.
Females oviposit individual eggs into notches that they create in the stems of plants - it is not certain if there is a restricted set of larval food plants for this species (Milne and Milne, 1980; Webster, 1892). Larvae burrow into stems and roots, 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 in this species.
Not of concern.
One specimen in the Strickland Museum collections was reared from Polygonum muhlenbergii, by D.H. Blake, but this was in a lab situation. Forbes (as cited by Webster, 1892) showed that Polygonum pennsylvanicum (Pennsylvania smartweed) was a likely larval food plant for this species by using it for rearing, but also stated that numerous other plants would suffice for feeding in nature.
McNamara (2006) stated a Canadian range including Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. O'Brien and Wibmer (1982) listed additional occurrences across the United States, including: CT, DC, IL, IN, MA, MD, NJ, NY, OH, PA, WI, FL, GA, NC, SC, TN, VA, CA, TX, ID, OR, WA, IA, KS, MO, NE, SD, MT. Strickland Museum specimens were collected mainly in Alberta (Canada), and Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and New Jersey (United States).
Lixus terminalis is a senior subjective synonym of Lixus blakeae Chittenden 1928, which had minor useage. The specimen mentioned in the diet information section (reared by D.H. Blake) was one of the paratypes for Lixus blakeae Chittenden 1928, so its information has been incorporated into that presented here for L. terminalis.
Interestingly, LeConte stated that males are much more pubescent and less shiny than females, and have slightly shorter snouts. It was difficult to apply this to the specimens at hand, as most had been at least partially rubbed bare of pubescence.
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