Ropalopus (Ropalopus) ungaricus (Herbst, 1784)
ssp. ungaricus (Herbst, 1784)
[= Callidium Cognatum Laicharting, 1784]
[= Cerambyx (Callidium) pannonicus Gmelin, 1790]
[= Ropalopus insubricus var. annulus Costa, 1855]
[= Rhopalopus insubricus var. Vogti Guerry, 1911]
[= Rhopalopus (Calliopedia) Reitteri Binder, 1915]

Ropalopus ungaricus ungaricus
[Photo © Daniel Rydzi]

Ropalopus ungaricus, a rare and endangered mountainous European species, has been described as Callidium Ungaricum from Hungary by Johann Friedrich Wilhelm in 1784 [❖]. R. ungaricus develops in living or dying Acer pseudoplatanus. The adult beetles are not easy to find as they usually sit on leaves or bark in the canopy region of the host trees, and the larvae too, can be difficult to find. The only hallmark of the beetle's presence is a wounded region in the living bark of the host clearly visible shortly after the beetle has hatched. However, even this can disappear quite quickly, as a result of the the tree's ability to heal these wounds to some extent.

The issue of the threat of this important species in terms of nature protection in Central Europe is described in detail in the work of Josef Kašák and Jiří Foit from 2018 [✮].

Body length:12 - 24 mm
Life cycle:2 years
Adults in:June - August
Host plant:polyphagous in deciduous trees, but strongly preferring maples (Acer spp.)
Distribution:Central and SE Europe, Italy, France

This beetle was photographed in Donovaly environs (Banská Bystrica district, Banská Bystrica region, Slovakia) on June 20, 2023.

Collected by Daniel Rydzi

The taxonomic Gordian knot of the Ropalopus ungaricus/insubricus group was elegantly cut by our Polish friends (Lech KARPIŃSKI, Wojciech T. SZCZEPAŃSKI and Lech KRUSZELNICKI) in their latest brilliant publication:

Karpiński L., Szczepański W.T. & Kruszelnicki L.:
Revision of the Ropalopus ungaricus/insubricus group (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae: Callidiini) from the western Palaearctic region.
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society XX: 1–41, 2020. [download pdf icon]

Herbst J.F.W.:
Kritisches Verzeichniß meiner Insektensammlung.
Archiv der Insectengeschichte (Zürich und Winterthur, H. Steiner & Comy) 5 (1): 1-151, 1784. [download pdf icon]

Kašák J. and Foit J.:
Shortage of declining and damaged sun-exposed trees in European mountain forests limits saproxylic beetles: a case study on the endangered longhorn beetle Ropalopus ungaricus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae).
Journal of Insect Conservation 22 (1): 171–181, 2018. [download pdf icon]

Ropalopus ungaricus ungaricus
Ropalopus ungaricus ungaricus
[Photo © Daniel Rydzi]

SubfamiliaCerambycinae Latreille, 1802
TribusCallidiini Mulsant, 1839
GenusRopalopus Mulsant, 1839
SubgenusRopalopus Mulsant, 1839
SpeciesRopalopus (Ropalopus) ungaricus (Herbst, 1784)
SubspeciesRopalopus (Ropalopus) ungaricus ungaricus (Herbst, 1784)