Agapanthia (Epoptes) asphodeli (Latreille, 1804)
ssp. cretica Bernhauer, 1978
[= Agapanthia cretica Bernhauer, 1978]
[= Agapanthia probsti Holzschuh, 1984]

Subfamilia: LAMIINAE  /  Tribus: AGAPANTHIINI
Agapanthia cretica
[Photo © Michal Hoskovec]
Agapanthia asphodeli probsti

[Photo © David Navrátil, click on the picture for 4K resolution]

Agapanthia asphodeli, a species widely distributed in Mediterranean region, has been described from Bordeaux environs (France) as Lamia asphodeli by Pierre-André Latreille in 1804 [✱].

Its subspecies A. asphodeli cretica, endemic to Crete (Greece), has been described as a separate species Agapanthia cretica by Dieter Bernhauer in 1978 [✧]. It was downgraded to the subspecies level by Maxim A. Lazarev in 2023 [✳]. According to Maxim A. Lazarev, another Cretan endemic species A. probsti, described by Carolus Holzschuh in 1984 [▽], is a synonym of A. asphodeli cretica Bernhauer, 1978 [✳].

A. asphodeli cretica develops in Asphodeline liburnica (Xanthorrhoeaceae). Similarly to other Agapanthia species larvae of Agapanthia probsti feed in stalks of living hosts. The pupal cell is built in the stalk rather than the roots although it may occur very close to ground level. The last instar larva girdles the stalk above the pupal cell and secures the gallery at this point by a wad of fibrous frass. The emerging adult leaves the stalk by biting an oval emergence hole in its side, usually about 1 cm below the cut.

Body length:12 - 16 mm
Life cycle:1 year
Adults in:May - June
Host plant:Asphodeline liburnica (Xanthorrhoeaceae)
Distribution:an endemic species to Crete

The depicted beetles were reared (hatched in January 1, 2022) from larvae found in Asphodeline liburnica stalk in Georgioupoli (Γεωργιούπολη) resort village environs (N35°22.13′ E24°15.37′; 30-50 m a.s.l., Apokoronas municipality, Chania regional unit, Crete, Greece) in July 1-7, 2021.

Collected by our friend Matěj Čermák

Latreille P.-E.:
Histoire Naturelle, Générale et particulière des Crustacés et des Insectes.
Imprimerie F. Dufart, Paris 11, 424pp, 1804. [download pdf icon]

Bernhauer D.:
Eine neue Agapanthien-Art aus Kreta (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae).
Nachrichtenblatt der Bayerischen Entomologen 27 (4): 69-71, 1978. [download pdf icon]

Lazarev M.A.:
Taxonomy structure of Agapanthia (Epoptes) asphodeli (Latreille, 1804) (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae).
Humanity space International almanac 12 (5): 468-491, 2023. [download pdf icon]

Holzschuh C.:
Beschreibung von 24 neuen Bockkäfern aus Europa und Asien, vorwiegend aus dem Himalaya (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae).
Entomologica Basiliensa 9: 340-372, 1984. [download pdf icon]

Pesarini C. and Sabbadini A.:
Osservazioni sulla sistematica della tribù Agapanthiini Mulsant, 1839 (Coleoptera Cerambycidae).
Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale in Milano 145 (1): 117-132, 2004. [download pdf icon]

Agapanthia asphodeli cretica
Agapanthia asphodeli cretica
[Photo © Michal Hoskovec]
Agapanthia asphodeli cretica
[Photo © Michal Hoskovec]

SubfamiliaLamiinae Latreille, 1825
TribusAgapanthiini Mulsant, 1839
GenusAgapanthia Audinet-Serville, 1835
SubgenusEpoptes Gistl, 1857
SpeciesAgapanthia (Epoptes) asphodeli (Latreille, 1804)
SubspeciesAgapanthia (Epoptes) asphodeli cretica Bernhauer, 1978