(200LElig) Lepidocyrtus lignorum (Fabricius, 1775)

Lepidocyrtus lignorum is a predominantly pale species with traces of blue pigment on the head, thorax and legs. The second thoracic segment is not prominent and there are scales present on the legs (Fig. 1) and first (ant1) and second (ant2) segments of the antennae (Fig. 2). There are no scales on ant3 and ant4 which is a useful character to separate Lepidocyrtus lignorum from immature Lepidocyrtus curvicollis if the extent of the prominence of thoracic segment 2 is in doubt. In England, it rarely exceeds 1.5 mm, though Steve reported seeing a specimen of 2mm from Ireland.

Lepidocyrtus lignorum is probably widespread and moderately common in leaf litter but may be under-recorded due to confusion with other pale Lepidocyrtus species in the past.

The scales on ant 1-2 show up on good macro photographs, allowing tentantive habitus IDs as here from Penecuik.  Separating it from Lepidocyrtus cyaneus (qv)  requires checking ant 1-2 for the iridescent sheen caused by a layer of scales.





Fig. 1: Scales (s) on the tibiotarsus (tt) of the first leg of Lepidocyrtus lignorum collected from Ballyvaghan, Clare, Ireland in July 1960 by Peter Lawrence.

Fig. 2: Scales (arrows) on the second segment of the antenna (ant2) of Lepidocyrtus lignorum collected from Home Fen, Hunts. in April 1963 by Peter Lawrence.

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