Byrrhus eximius    



habitat
Adults are often found in mosses, moist sand or soil and under logs and stones (El-Moursy 1961).

seasonality
Adults fly in spring and early summer (Johnson 2000) and can be collected in Alberta from May throug

identification
Length less than 6.0 mm. Body form narrowly oval, convex, moderately acute anteriorly and posteriorly, black with olive green pubescences (Downie et al. 1996). Antennae and legs markedly stout; sterna with fine, decumbent hairs (bending downward) (El-Moursy 1970). Central transverse mark on elytra with cinereous (grey) spot near centre (El-Moursy 1970). Elytral punctures dense and often coalesced (Johnson 1991). Male genitalia with median lobe narrow at centre and pointed and enlarged at apex; parameres broad at base and narrow near apices (El-Moursy 1970). Female genitalia presently unidentifiable (Hatch 1961). Larvae with large hypognathous head (head and mouth directed ventrally) with discrete ventral epicranial ridges and 6 distinct stemmata. Similar in body form to larvae of Chrysomelidae but with well-developed lacinia and articulated galea (Lawrence 1991).

life history
Adults are sometimes found in the soil of young trees in nurseries (Lawrence 1991 and Lawrence et al. 2000) and as washup or windblown drift on beaches (Johnson 2000). Larvae burrow through moss layers and underlying substrate (Johnson 2000). When disturbed, adults pull in their appendages and remain motionless. This behaviour creates the appearance of a small pebble or pill, hence the common name (El-Moursy 1961).

conservation
Common in Alberta.

diet info
Both adults and larvae are herbivorous on the leaves and rhizoids of mosses and liverworts (El-Moursy 1961 and Lawrence et al. 2000).

range
This species is known in North America only in the west; eastern Alberta to the Pacific coast and from Yukon Territory to California and Colorado (El-Moursy 1970).

people
species page authorDechene, A.2003 
species page editorShpeley, D.2004 

quick link
http://entomology.museums.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=4731

 

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