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First observations in Belgium of the introduced 'minute hooded beetle' Arthrolips fasciata (Erichson, 1842) (Coleoptera: Corylophidae)

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In September 2020 a specimen of the Corylophidae Arthrolips fasciata (Erichson, 1842) was discovered in mushrooms on decaying beech in a garden in Sint-Denijs-Westrem. In October 2020 a second specimen of this species was discovered in Beisbroek Sint-Andries Bruges also on decaying beech. These are the first records of the species in Belgium. Hence, we expect more Belgian records of this species in the near future. A species list of the Corylophidae known to occur in Belgium is given. Samenvatting In september 2020 werd een specimen van de Corylophidae Arthrolips fasciata (Erichson, 1842) ontdekt in paddenstoelen op rottende beuk in een tuin in Sint-Denijs-Westrem. In oktober 2020 werd een tweede specimen van deze soort gevonden in Beisbroek, Sint-Andries Brugge ook op rottende beuk. Dit zijn de eerste waarnemingen van deze soort in België. We verwachten dan ook meer Belgische waarnemingen van deze soort in de nabije toekomst. Een lijst met alle in België voorkomende Corylophidae soorten wordt aangehaald. Résumé En septembre 2020, un spécimen de Arthrolips fasciata (Erichson, 1842) (Corylophidae) a été découvert dans des champignons associés à des hêtres en décomposition dans un jardin à Sint-Denijs-Westrem. En octobre 2020 un deuxième spécimen de cette espèce a été découvert à Beisbroek Sint-Andries Bruges aussi sur des hêtres en décomposition. Ce sont les premières données pour cette espèce en Belgique. Par conséquent, nous pouvons nous attendre à d'autres observations en Belgique dans un avenir proche. Une liste des espèces de Corylophidae connues pour être présentes en Belgique est donnée.
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Bulletin de la Société royale belge d’Entomologie / Bulletin van de Koninklijke Belgische Vereniging voor Entomologie, 156 (2020): 193200
First observations in Belgium of the introduced minute hooded
beetle Arthrolips fasciata (Erichson, 1842)
(Coleoptera: Corylophidae)
Wouter DEKONINCK1 & Marc VAN KERCKVOORDE2
1 Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Vautierstraat 29, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
(e-mail: wdekoninck@naturalsciences.be)
2 Vennestraat 6, B-9051 Sint-Denijs-Westrem, Belgium (e-mail: marc.vankerckvoorde@skynet.be)
Abstract
In September 2020 a specimen of the Corylophidae Arthrolips fasciata (Erichson, 1842) was
discovered in mushrooms on decaying beech in a garden in Sint-Denijs-Westrem. In October
2020 a second specimen of this species was discovered in Beisbroek Sint-Andries Bruges also
on decaying beech. These are the first records of the species in Belgium. Hence, we expect
more Belgian records of this species in the near future. A species list of the Corylophidae
known to occur in Belgium is given.
Keywords: Coleoptera, Corylophidae, introduction, new record
Samenvatting
In september 2020 werd een specimen van de Corylophidae Arthrolips fasciata (Erichson,
1842) ontdekt in paddenstoelen op rottende beuk in een tuin in Sint-Denijs-Westrem. In
oktober 2020 werd een tweede specimen van deze soort gevonden in Beisbroek, Sint-Andries
Brugge ook op rottende beuk. Dit zijn de eerste waarnemingen van deze soort in België. We
verwachten dan ook meer Belgische waarnemingen van deze soort in de nabije toekomst. Een
lijst met alle in België voorkomende Corylophidae soorten wordt aangehaald.
Résumé
En septembre 2020, un spécimen de Arthrolips fasciata (Erichson, 1842) (Corylophidae) a été
découvert dans des champignons associés à des hêtres en décomposition dans un jardin à Sint-
Denijs-Westrem. En octobre 2020 un deuxième spécimen de cette espèce a été découvert à
Beisbroek Sint-Andries Bruges aussi sur des hêtres en décomposition. Ce sont les premières
données pour cette espèce en Belgique. Par conséquent, nous pouvons nous attendre à d’autres
observations en Belgique dans un avenir proche. Une liste des espèces de Corylophidae
connues pour être présentes en Belgique est donnée.
Introduction
A good method to add new species or discover rare species of insects for a certain region is to
focus on families less studied, or to go and search near borders of other regions where these
species have been found already. However, trying a different not often used sampling technique
to collect this family might also be an option. Screening wood-decomposing fungi for beetles
is a laborious but very interesting sampling technique. Recently, GIELEN (2018) discovered Cis
bilamellatus Wood, 1884 and Xylographus bostrichoides (Dufour, 1843) two new minute tree-
fungus beetles for the Belgian fauna when screening mushrooms. Besides Ciidae, also other
rare species have been found in mushrooms last years like Zopheridae (TROUKENS, 2017), or
in traps using mushrooms like Mycetophagidae (DRUMONT et al., 2018).
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Fig. 1a. Wood storage with decaying wood where the trunk of beech was located and in which Arthrolips fasciata
was found in the garden of Vennestraat 6 in Sint-Denijs-Westrem.
Fig. 1b. Trunk of decaying beech wood colonized with two species of mushrooms: Trametes ochracea and
Cyanosporus subcaesius.
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During a screening of two species of fungi: Trametes ochracea (Pers.) Gilb. & Ryvarden and
Cyanosporus subcaesius (A. David) B.K. Cui, L.L. Shen & Y.C. Dai on decaying beech (Fagus
sylvatica) wood in a garden in Sint-Denijs-Westrem (Oost-Vlaanderen; Fig. 1a, b), and under
the bark of a decaying beech in Beisbroek Sint-Andries near Bruges (West-Vlaanderen),
besides several typical small Coleoptera living in fungi like Ciidae, a Corylophidae species
new for Belgium was found: Arthrolips fasciata.
Material and methods
All specimens were collected during entomological excursions while searching insects under
bark of dead wood colonised by fungi. Specimens were collected by hand and stored in 70 %
alcohol. After identification using BOWESTEAD (2003) and LOMPE (2002) both specimens were
mounted and stored in the collections of RBINS (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences)
(deposit number IG 34.236). Taxonomy of all Corylophidae species mentioned is following
BOWESTEAD (2007).
Fig. 2a. Lateral view of Arthrolips fasciata (Erichson,1842) collected on 22/ix/2020 in Sint-Denijs-Westrem.
© W Dekoninck.
Fig. 2b. Dorsal view of Arthrolips fasciata (Erichson,1842) collected on 30/x/2020 under bark of a decaying beech
in Beisbroek Sint-Andries near Bruges. © W Dekoninck.
Results
First records of Arthrolips fasciata in Belgium
MATERIAL EXAMINED: 1 specimen of Arthrolips fasciata (M. Van Kerckvoorde leg. & det.;
Fig. 2a) found under the bark of decaying beech colonized with two species of fungi: Trametes
ochracea and Cyanosporus subcaesius (Fig. 3) on 22/ix/2020 in the garden of Vennestraat 6 in
Sint-Denijs-Westrem; 1 specimen of Arthrolips fasciata (W. Dekoninck leg. & det. Fig. 2b) on
30/x/2020 under bark of a decaying beech (Fig. 4) in Beisbroek Sint-Andries near Bruges.
RECORD IN SINT-DENIJS-WESTREM (UTM 1X1 KM SQUARE ES4653)
The beech trunk (Fig 1a, 1b) in Sint-Denijs-Westrem was already stored for several years in
the garden. In the mushrooms also four species of Ciidae were discovered: Cis boleti (Scopoli
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1763), Cis micans (Fabricius, 1792), Octotemnus glabriculus (Gyllenhal, 1827) and Sulcacis
fronticornis (Panzer, 1805). Most of the fruit bodies (1 cm to 3 cm) of the two fungi species
were completely eaten from the inside and from some fruit bodies almost nothing remained
after colonisation by the Ciidae beetles.
Fig. 3. Fresh fruit bodies of Cyanosporus subcaesius on trunk of decaying beech.
RECORD IN BEISBROEK SINT-ANDRIES, BRUGES (UTM 1X1 KM SQUARE ES1068)
Next to the highway E40 (Brussels-Ostend) near Beisbroek in Sint-Andries a large number of
beech trees in an avenue are dying since a few years. Most of the trees already lost a lot of their
bark and many species of fungi are colonizing most of the trees. Five beeches were inspected
and all observed Coleoptera were sampled with a pocket exhaustor. Under bark that partly
came off the trees (see Fig. 4), besides A. fasciata also other Corylophidae were found:
Arthrolips obscura Sahlberg, 1833 and Sericoderus lateralis (Gyllenhal, 1827). In the fungi on
the trees some Ciidae were collected: Ennearthron cornutum Gyllenhal, 1827, Cis boleti
(Scopoli, 1763) and Sulcacis fronticornis (Panzer, 1809). Especially Arthrolips obscura was
found in very high numbers on almost every beech tree inspected.
A. fasciata is a brightly coloured small corylophid beetle of 1.161.3 mm long. It is bicoloured
with a red-testaceus pronotum and its elytra are dark brown with a red-testaceous transverse
wavy median band and pale apical margin. The head is dark and its antennae (11 segments) are
dark with the basal segments slightly paler. The legs are pale throughout. It can hardly be
confused with any other European Corylophidae species thanks to its characteristic colours.
Further details on the description and designation of the lectotype can be found in BOWESTEAD
(2003).
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Fig. 4. Dead beech near E40 in Beisbroek Sint-Andries where A. fasciata was found under bark that partly came
off the tree.
A recently arrived immigrant from Australia and New-Zealand
A. fasciata was originally described by ERICHSON in 1842 as Corylophus fasciatus from
specimens collected in Tasmania. A few years later the same species was described as
Clypeaster pulchella Lea, 1895 from New South Wales, Australia.
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It was for the first time discovered outside Australia and Tasmania in 1996 when it was
collected almost simultaneously in Gironde (DAUPHIN, 2004) and Dordogne (BOWESTEAD,
2003). Both authors also mention several other records from the southwest of France in the
subsequent years. DAUPHIN (2004) suggested a possible expansion of this species in France
and as such he encouraged entomologists to go searching for this species. Later PONET et al.
(2010) completed the distribution of this species. They found A. fasciata in the southeast of
France in the Département du Var (several specimens discovered in December 2006 by sieving
of litter in a cork-oak forest) and in the Département des Alpes-Maritimes in October 2009 (1
specimen discovered under dehiscent bark of beech on 1400 m altitude). In 20082014 the
species was found in 5 localities in Ariège (Pyrenees) (BOURDONNÉ & HOLLIGER, 2015). Later,
BOUGET et al. (2019) confirmed that the species was widely established in the South of France.
After its first discovery in Europe in France, it was also recorded from Germany (see LOMPE,
2002) and from Italy by RATTI (2007), who reported the species from compost and even in
caves in several localities in Venezia in 2000 and 2001 and one locality in Padova in 2002.
In 2010 and 2011 the species was reported from Girona in Spain (VIÑOLAS et al., 2012).
Coleonet (LOMPE, 2002) also mentions Madeira as locality. In 1989 A. fasciata has also been
reported from United States of America, Florida, and in 1996 from Taiwan (THOMAS, 2005).
Later on, it was also reported in US from Texas, Alabama and Virginia (see records on
https://bugguide.net/).
The most recent new area where the species was discovered, is Russia, Western Caucasus
where a specimen from the Krasnodar Territory (Dagomys environment) was sifted from rotten
wood of an old fallen oak tree in July 2014 (KOVALEV, 2016).
Biology and Ecology
Corylophidae are thought to be mould feeders, being attracted to the fine moulds that occur on
all vegetation as it decays (BOWESTEAD, 1999). Although it may be true that a particular
corylophid species may feed in a variety of mould-ridden situations, it is important to have an
understanding of the preferred habitats in which species may be expected to occur
(BOWESTEAD, 1999).
When it was discovered for the first time in Europe it has been suggested that A. fasciata is
associated in some way with conifers (BOWESTEAD, 2003) as the first specimens were
discovered in pine forest. However later A. fasciata has been collected by sifting litter in a
grove of cork oaks and under dehiscent bark of beech (PONEL et al., 2010), as well as in
compost and even in caves (RATTI, 2007). In Russia a specimen from the Krasnodar Territory
was sifted from rotten wood of an old fallen oak tree (KOVALEV, 2016). Most probably
A. fasciata, like other Corylophidae species, is associated with moulds or other fungi, growing
on various plant substrates, probably as well in humid artificial habitats, but also nearly
undisturbed habitats. In the garden in Sint-Denijs-Westrem its discovery was linked with fungi
in decaying beech wood, like was probably the case for some records in France.
Discussion
The finding of A. fasciata in a more northern locality than many of the other European records,
indicates the species is expanding its distribution in Europe. As KOVALOV (2016) suggests this
species is probably imported with planting material and why not might also be travelling with
dead wood. Hence there is a great chance new records of this species will be discovered in the
near future in Belgium and surrounding areas. In order to detect the species, we suggest to
search in all kinds of decaying wood infected by fungi. To have a good chance to find the
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species elsewhere in Belgium we suggest searching actively under bark and on surfaces of dead
wood, or sieving of litter of bark and bracket fungi from standing and fallen trees. Samples
(sieved or not in the field) can also be brought back to the lab and placed in a Winkler or other
kind of funnel where the beetles can be extracted automatically when the samples dry out and
beetles try to escape from the litter or bark or bracket fungi. Due to its rather large habitat range,
we expect more Belgian records of this species in the near future.
CORYLOPHIDAE: A SMALL FAMILY OF COLEOPTERA WITH ONLY 11 SPECIES KNOWN FROM
BELGIUM
Besides Arthrolips fasciata also other Corylophidae species are likely to be expected soon in
Belgium as they are known from neighbouring countries (see BOWESTEAD, 2007) and
knowledge on the Corylophidae family in Belgium is still very limited. This is probably due to
a limited effort in the specific search for these small Coleoptera and also due to their small
body size. BOWESTEAD (2007) only mentions 8 species to be present in Belgium (see Table 1).
Table 1. Species of Corylophidae known from Belgium according to BOWESTEAD (2007).
In addition to the species mentioned in BOWESTEAD (2007), there are two other species
recorded in Belgium so far: Clypastraea pussilla (Gyllenhal, 1810) and Arthrolips obscura
(mentioned in this paper in high numbers from Beisbroek Bruges). Arthrolips obscura was
found in five other localities in Belgium so far: i) Sonian Forest Hoeilaart, Groenendaal,
Reserve Joseph Zwaenepoel, beech forest, 30/vi02/viii/2010, leg. L. Crevecoeur & det.
F. Köhler, on dead beech smeared with adhesive glue; ii) Grenspark Kalmthoutse Heide
Kraaienberg (Antwerpen) 28/viii/2013, 07/viii/2018 and 07/iv/2019, leg. & det.
M. Lodewyckx, sifted out of sand, moss and sludge under bark of a dead beech; iii) Oudenaarde
- Bos t'EnameWallebos (Oost-Vlaanderen) 12/iv/2015, leg. & det. Ph. Robben, during night
catch on fungus; iv) Doeveren-Zedelgem (West-Vlaanderen) 27/xi/2020, leg. & det.
W. Dekoninck & M. Van Kerckhoven, under bark of dead beech. v) Nethen, Grez Doiceau
(Brabant wallon) 05/vii/2020, leg. & det. L. Dahan, on trunks of beech.
For C. pusilla there is one ancient record: “Pris une fois près de Bruxelles, par M. Parys”
(MATHIEU, 1860). Arthrolips fasciata is the 11th Corylophidae species in Belgium.
Acknowledgements
We want to thank Alain Drumont (RBINS), Arno Thomaes and Koen Smets for their useful comments on an
earlier version of this manuscript. Pol Limbourg (RBINS) is acknowledged for mounting the specimens; Mado
Berthet (RBINS) is thanked for her help with the figure of Arthrolips fasciata. André De Kesel (Meise Botanic
Garden) is acknowledged for the identifications of the fungi. Thanks to Ph. Robben, L. Crevecoeur, Loïc Dahan
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en M. Lodewyckx for giving us details on their records of A. obscura. We want to thank Rebecca Devlaeminck
and Luc Maene (city of Bruges) for giving us the authorisation to sample insects and spiders in Beisbroek (Sint-
Andries, Bruges) since 2014. We also want to thank the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences and in
particular Patrick Grootaert and Patrick Semal for their continuous support for the long-term monitoring of insects
in the heathlands near Bruges as well as Sam Mondelaers, Erwin Derous, Els Laporte (City of Bruges,
Natuureducatief Centrum Beisbroek) for their logistic support in Beisbroek for this long-term monitoring project
in Bruges.
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The presence in Belgium of the beetle Berginus tamarisci Wollaston, 1854 belonging to the Mycetophagidae family is treated and confirmed on the basis of several collects realized in the Brussels-Capital Region and in the provinces of Liège and Limburg. The data relating to these collections are presented and discussed.
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Three species of adventive beetles, Arthrolips fasciata (Erichson, 1842) from the family Corylophidae, Silvanoprus cephalotes (Reitter, 1876) and Psammoecus trimaculatus Motschulsky, 1858 from the family Silvanidae, are recorded from the Caucasian region and from Russia for the first time. Psammoecus trimaculatus is the first recorded from Europe, and A. fasciata and S. cephalotes are first recorded from Eastern Europe.
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While curating the Corylophidae in the Florida State Collection of Arthropods (FSCA) I came across a pair of strikingly marked Arthrolips from the Florida Panhandle. Shortly thereafter, I found another pair of apparently identical beetles from Taiwan. Examination of the spermathecae sup ported the conclusion that the two series represented the same species. Based on the illustrations of the spermatheca and habitus supplied by Bowestead (2003), both series are A. fasciata (Erichson). This species was described from Tasmania and has been recorded also from New South Wales and New Zealand, and recently (Bowestead 2003), as an immigrant, from France. Bowestead (2003) says that this species ‘...is at once recognizable by its distinct and handsome coloring, of red pronotum and dark elytra with bright red transverse median band...’ (Fig. 1). This species seems to be associated with pines (Bowestead 2003).
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