Morimus orientalis Reitter, 1894

Subfamilia: LAMIINAE  /  Tribus: LAMIINI
Morimus orientalis

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

Morimus orientalis, a species known from South Bulgaria and Turkey, has been described from Turkey by Edmund Reitter in 1894 [✧]. The biology of M. orientalis is most likely the same as that of the whole M. asper species-cluster. Beetles are polyphagous 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. orientalis is a nocturnal species but can easily be found hiding in piles of cordwood or sitting on stumps even during the day.

Body length:19 - 38 mm
Life cycle:several years
Adults in:April - October
Host plant:polyphagous in deciduous trees
Distribution:Bulgaria, Turkey

The mounted specimens were collected 3 km S of Pismenovo (Писменово) village (Primorsko municipality, Burgas province, Bulgaria) on June 19-20, 2021. The depicted living beetle was found the oak stump in Sarpdere environs (Demirköy district, Kırklareli Province, European part of Turkey) on May 31, 2011.

Collected by Lukáš Skořepa and Michal Hoskovec

The taxonomic status of Euro-Anatolian Morimus species is unclear, but the recent [❖] and by presented data very well supported work of Emanuaela 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 with many isolated distinct local populations, 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.

Reitter E.:
Uebersicht der Arten der Coleopteren-Gattung Morimus Serv.
Wiener Entomologische Zeitung 13: 43-44, 1894. [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]

Morimus orientalis
Morimus orientalis
Morimus orientalis
[Photo © Michal Hoskovec]

SubfamiliaLamiinae Latreille, 1825
TribusLamiini Latreille, 1825
GenusMorimus Brullé, 1832
SpeciesMorimus orientalis Reitter, 1894