Phytoecia (Opsilia) coerulescens (Scopoli, 1763)
ssp. coerulescens (Scopoli, 1763)
[alternative spelling: Opsilia caerulescens (Scopoli, 1763)]

Subfamilia: LAMIINAE  /  Tribus: SAPERDINI
Phytoecia coerulescens coerulescens
[Photo © Daniel Rydzi]

Phytoecia (Opsilia) coerulescens is a very common and broadly distributed species (Europe, North Africa, Near East, Asia Minor, etc.). It develops in herbaceous plants such as Echium, Cerinthe, Cynoglossum, Anchusa, Symphytum, Lithospermum, Lappula, Lycopsis, etc. The larva of Opsilia coerulescens feeds in the roots of the host. Later the larva girdles the plant stalk above ground level and secures this part with a wad of fibrous frass (see the P. coerulescens biology page). In the autumn the attacked stalks are regularly broken at the girdle by wind. Surprisingly, the adults do not leave the substrate via the already created opening (by simply removing the wad) but create a new one in the side of the stalk.

Body length:6 - 13 mm
Life cycle:1 year
Adults in:April - July
Host plant:polyphagous in in herbaceous plants
Distribution:Europe, North Africa, Near East, Asia Minor

The depicted living beetles were collected on their host plant (Echium italicum) in Tuklaty village environs (Central Bohemia , Czechia) on May 15, 2017 and in Bělušice village environs (Most district, Ústí nad labem region, Czechia) on June 5, 2021.

Collected by Daniel Rydzi

Phytoecia coerulescens coerulescens
[Photo © Daniel Rydzi]

SubfamiliaLamiinae Latreille, 1825
TribusSaperdini Mulsant, 1839
GenusPhytoecia Pic, 1892
SubgenusOpsilia Mulsant, 1863
SpeciesPhytoecia (Opsilia) coerulescens (Scopoli, 1763)
SubspeciesPhytoecia (Opsilia) coerulescens coerulescens (Scopoli, 1763)