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Species Page - Lixus musculus
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scientific name    Lixus musculus    

habitat
Mesic (moist), semi-aquatic and aquatic habitats (Anderson, 2002; Webster, 1892).

seasonality
Museum specimens were taken sporadically throughout the summer and fall months.

identification
Say (1831) noted that adult specimens are large (approximately 8.8 mm), with underlying cuticle that is pitch black and covered with numerous short, white hairs. The general body dimensions are fairly ovate in dorsal view (comparatively short and stout), with a tubular, arched rostrum, and a head that is slightly constricted between the eyes. The prothorax is wider than it is long, is strongly rounded at its front, and has fairly rounded sides. The medial angle (at the back of the thorax, along the midline) is depressed, and a broad and shallow longitudinal depression arises just anterior to the medial angle, fading as it heads forward. Punctures on the cuticle are small and dense on the sides of the rostrum's base, comparatively small and dense across the thorax, and larger on elytra, but progressively smaller and constrained to longitudinal grooves near the posterior tip of the elytra. Say's original diagnosis has been supplemented with a few characters suggested by LeConte, (1876) in the identification above.

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 for this species. Essig (1958) stated that this species was quite similar to Lixus parcus, but was found to inhabit the eastern US as well as Texas and Colorado. This similarity would suggest that it too pupates late within the summer, with adult abundances occurring within the fall.

conservation
Not of concern.

diet info
Some adult specimens in the Strickland Museum have been collected from the foliage of thistles (in the vicinity of Medicine Hat, Alberta). This species has also been reared from the foliage of Polygonum amphibium (water smartweed)(Webster, 1892). Otherwise, they are known from knotweed as larvae and pupae, and from a wide range of plants as feeding adults.

range
American occurrences in Louisiana (O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; Say, 1831) are supplemented by Strickland Museum records from IL, KS, and NY, as well as a Canadian occurrence in Alberta.

notes
Males can be distinguished from females in this species by having antennae 1/4 of the way from the tip of the rostrum, as opposed to the females' 1/3rd of the way from the tip (LeConte, 1876). O'Brien and Wibmer (1982) treated this species as Incertae Sedis (uncertain placement) within Lixus, and it has somewhat limited literature coverage elsewhere.

quick link
http://entomology.museums.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=5975



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References (9)
Specimen Info
There are 15 specimens of this species in the online database
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Specimen List (15)

 

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