Morimus asper (Sulzer, 1776)
ssp. funereus Mulsant, 1863
[= Morimus funereus Mulsant, 1863]

Subfamilia: LAMIINAE  /  Tribus: LAMIINI
Morimus asper funereus
[Photo © Nikola Rahmé]

The nominotypical subspecies, Morimus asper, has been described from Italy as Cerambyx Asper by Johann Heinrich Sulzer in 1776 [✧]. M. asper funereus, a subspecies distributed in Central-West and South-Eastern Europe, has been decribed from France as a new separate species (Morimus funereus) by Étienne Mulsant in 1862 [☆]. It is currently considered, even thanks to DNA analysis [❖], only as a subspecies of M. asper.

M. asper funereus, a polyphagous species on a plethora of deciduous trees, is occuring in deciduous forests, grazing forests with solitary trees, as well as in parks and old orchards. The development of larvae takes place in dead wood, fresh stumps, dead parts of standing trees and in wood with bark lying on the ground. Pupation in the wood, life cycle several years. Adults, occurring from spring to late autumn, live a very long time and some even overwinter successfully. M. asper funereus is a nocturnal species but can easily be found hiding in piles of cordwood or sitting on stumps even during the day. Biology of this remarkable species (sensu lato) was in detail described in a brilllant paper by Sönke Hardersen et al. published in 2017 [◊].

Body length:16 - 38 mm
Life cycle:several years
Adults in:April - October
Host plant:polyphagous in deciduous trees (Fagus, Populus, Tilia, Acer, Salix, Carpinus, Quercus, Ulmus etc.)
Distribution:Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey

The depicted living beetles were found: (DR) - Danube-Ipoly National Park (Pest county, Hungary) on May 31, 2015; (TN) - on Haláp hill (N46°55′28″ E17°27′30″, Zalahaláp village environs, Veszprém county, Hungary) on July 23, 2017. The mounted specimens were collected in Velika (Βελίκα) beach village environs (Melivoia municipal unit, Larissa regional unit, Thessaly, Greece) on June 12, 2008.

Collected by Nikola Rahmé, Daniel Rydzi, Tamás Németh, Michal Hoskovec and Lech Kruszelnicki

The taxonomic status of Euro-Anatolian Morimus species is unclear, but the recent [❖] and by presented data very well supported work of Emanuela Solano et al. says:

"The genetic variability among Euro-Anatolian Morimus populations and the geographical structure suggest that they can not be ascribed to the currently accepted five W Palaearctic Morimus species and may actually represent a single, genetically and morphologically variable biological species (M. asper), highlighting the necessity of an extended taxonomical revision."

The existence of only one, very variable M. asper taxon, is supported also by authors of this site. But until well done revision of the Morimus genus, the traditional division to several taxa will be preserved here.

Sulzer J.H.:
Abgekurzte Geschichte der Insekten nach dem Linaeischen System.
Winterthur 1: 274pp, 1776. [download pdf icon]

Mulsant É.:
Histoire Naturelle des Coléoptères de France. Longicornes.
Annales de la Société Impériale d'Agriculture, d'Histoire Naturelle et des Arts Utiles de Lyon: 1-480, 1862. [download pdf icon]

Solano E., Mancini E., Ciucci P., Mason F., Audisio P., Antonini G.:
The EU protected taxon Morimus funereus Mulsant, 1862 (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and its western Palaearctic allies: systematics and conservation outcomes.
Conservation Genetics 14: 683–694, 2013. [download pdf icon]

Sláma M.E.F.:
Tesaříkovití – Cerambycidae České republiky a Slovenské republiky / Cerambycidae of the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic.
Milan Sláma private printing, Krhanice, 383pp [pages 275-276], 1998 [ISBN: 80-238-2627-1]. [download pdf icon]

Hardersen S., Bardiani M., Chiari S., Maura M., Maurizi E., Roversi P.F., Mason F., Bologna M.A.:
Guidelines for the monitoring of Morimus asper funereus and Morimus asper asper.
Nature Conservation 20: 205–236, 2017. [download pdf icon]

Morimus asper funereus
[Photo © Lech Kruszelnicki]
Morimus asper funereus
Morimus asper funereus
Morimus asper funereus
[Photo © Daniel Rydzi]
Morimus asper funereus
[Photo © Tamás Németh]

SubfamiliaLamiinae Latreille, 1825
TribusLamiini Latreille, 1825
GenusMorimus Brullé, 1832
SpeciesMorimus asper (Sulzer, 1776)
SubspeciesMorimus asper funereus Mulsant, 1862