Lichenophanes varius (Illiger, 1801)

Nardi, Gianluca & Biscaccianti, Alessandro B., 2017, New Italian records of Lichenophanesvarius (Illiger, 1801) (Coleoptera, Bostrichidae), Nature Conservation 19, pp. 219-229: 220

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Lichenophanes varius (Illiger, 1801)


Lichenophanes varius (Illiger, 1801) 

Lichenophanes varius  (Illiger, 1801): Evangelista and Cristiano 2013: 250, Muscarella et al. 2013: 455, Redolfi de Zan et al. 2016: 237.

New records.

PIEDMONT ( Evangelista and Cristiano 2013): Caramagna (Cuneo), Bosco del Merlino, relict deciduous plain forest, between 1996 and 2012, ex branches of Quercus robur  , many es. LOMBARDY: Marmirolo (Mantova), Nature Reserve Bosco della Fontana, 25 m, 45°12.030'N; 10°44.085'E, Querco  - Carpinetum boreoitalicum  relict forest, 3.6.2014, M. Bardiani and I. Toni leg., unbaited aerial trap on a Quercus cerris  tree at a height of 13 m from the soil, 1 es. (CNBFVR). LAZIO (cf. Redolfi de Zan et al. 2016): Allumiere (Roma), 573 m, 42°09.112'N; 11°54.560'E, relict forest dominated by beech trees ( Fagus sylvatica  ), 19.6.-1.7.2011, G.M. Carpaneto et al. leg., BCWFT, 1 es. (CGN); sdb 612 m, 42°09'05.9"N; 11°54'36.0"E, 2-15.7.2011, TCWFT, 1 es. (CGN); Monti Cimini (Viterbo), Monte Venere, 714 m, 42°20'55.1"N; 12°11'05.4"E, relict forest dominated by beech trees ( F. sylvatica  ), 2-15.7.2011, G.M. Carpaneto et al. leg., TCWFT, 1 es (CGN); sdb 829 m, 42°20'43.7"N; 12°10'52.8"E, 1 es. (CGN); Oriolo Romano (Viterbo), 463 m, 42°09'41.8"N; 12°09'14.0"E, relict forest dominated by beech trees ( F. sylvatica  ), 19.6.-1.7.2011, G.M. Carpaneto et al. leg., BCWFT, 1 es. (CGN); sdb 2-15.7.2011, 1 es. (MZAC). CAMPANIA (cf. Audisio and Biscaccianti 2008): P.N. Cilento e Vallo di Diano, Montesano sulla Marcellana (Salerno), Bosco Cerreta, 510 m, 40°15'33"N; 15°39'30"E, old-growth forest dominated by Q. cerris  , 22.7.2008, A.B. Biscaccianti and E. Colonnelli leg., ex branches of Q. cerris  (collected 22.5.2008) colonized by Biscogniauxia  sp. [possibly B. nummularia  (Bull.) Kuntze], 2 es. (CAB). CALABRIA: P.N. Aspromonte, San Luca (Reggio Calabria), Pietra Lunga, Bosco Ferullà, 649 m, 38°10'07'N; 16°02'05'E, old-growth mixed forest dominated by Q. frainetto  and Q. ilex  , 14.7.2016, A.B. Biscaccianti, F. Manti and E. Castiglione leg., ex branches of Q. frainetto  (collected 15-18.3.2016) apparently free of fungi, 1 es. (CAB).

Other material examined.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Bohemia, Adamov, 6.[19]69, J. Hladil leg., 1 es. (CFA). FRANCE: Corsica, Corte, 500 m, 23.11.2010, [W.] Pagliacci leg., 8 es. (CVV).

Italian regional distribution.

Piedmont ( Evangelista and Cristiano 2013), Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio, Molise, Campania, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia (cf. Audisio and Biscaccianti 2008, Muscarella et al. 2013, Redolfi de Zan et al. 2014, Nardi and Biscaccianti this paper).

Chorotype and distribution.

Turanic-European-Mediterranean (cf. Vigna Taglianti et al. 1999, Muscarella et al. 2013). This species is recorded from: Europe (Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France (mainland, Corsica), Georgia, Germany, Greece (mainland), Hungary, Italy (mainland, Sardinia and Sicily), Macedonia, Moldavia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (mainland), Switzerland, Russia (Central Territory and Southern Territory), Turkey, Ukraine), North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia) and Asia (Cyprus, Iran, Syria, Turkmenistan, Turkey) (cf. Borowski 2007, Muscarella et al. 2013, Audisio et al. 2015).


Lichenophanes varius  lives in old-growth or at least in well preserved, broadleaved forests, where its saproxylophagous larvae develop in the dead wood of various genera of trees (e.g. Alnus  , Carpinus  , Castanea  , Fagus  , Populus  , Quercus  , Tilia  ) (cf. Muscarella et al. 2013). In Italy, this species was reared from the following plants: Carpinus betulus  L. ( Betulaceae  ), Quercus  sp., Q. cerris  L., Q. frainetto  Ten., Q. pubescens  Willd., Q. robur  L. and Q. suber  L. ( Fagaceae  ) (cf. Evangelista and Cristiano 2013, Muscarella et al. 2013, Nardi and Biscaccianti this paper). Moreover, Q. ilex  L., F. sylvatica  L. ( Fagaceae  ), Glycyrrhiza glabra  L. ( Leguminosae  ), Populus  sp. ( Salicaceae  ), Acer monspessulanum  L. ( Sapindaceae  ) and Ulmus  sp. ( Ulmaceae  ), are very probably host plants of L. varius  in Italy, since adults were also collected or trapped on these botanic species (cf. Muscarella et al. 2013, Redolfi de Zan et al. 2014) and, in other countries, this beetle was also reared from most of these plants (cf. Muscarella et al. 2013).

Lichenophanes varius  seems to attack only wood invaded by the mycelia of some Xylariaceae  fungi ( Pyrenomycetes  ): Biscogniauxia  sp. on Quercus cerris  (Nardi and Biscaccianti this paper), B. mediterranea  (De Not.) Kuntze on Quercus  sp., and B. nummularia  on Fagus sylvatica  (cf. Muscarella et al. 2013). Nevertheless, no mycological data are available for the other host plants. This peculiar larval ecology, as observed for other saproxylophagous beetles (cf. Rejzek and Vlásak 2000, Persiani et al. 2010, Borowski and Pietka 2014), is, probably, one of the causes of the rarity of this Bostrichid.

In Italy, L. varius  occurs from sea level to the montane belt (1100-1300 m a.s.l.) (cf. Muscarella et al. 2013, Nardi and Biscaccianti this paper); in this country, the decrease of old-growth deciduous plain forests (cf. Mason 2002, Pignatti et al. 2009) is surely another cause of its rarity.

Figure 2 summarises, according to the month of capture, the phenology of all Italian records (cf. Muscarella et al. 2013, Nardi and Biscaccianti this paper). This figure clearly shows that the species is active in May–July, while in Hungary, the adults are active in mid-summer ( Németh et al. 2015), and, in the Forest of Fontainebleau (France), they are active in June–September ( Cantonnet et al. 1995).