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Fairy-ring Longhorn Beetle: a chance encounter

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Fairy-ring Longhorn Beetle: a chance encounter

Have you ever seen a ring of toadstools on grass in the autumn? Commonly known as fairy rings they are formed by the fruiting body of the champignon fungus. The main part of the fungus is at work in the ground dissolving vegetable matter but what has that to do with this beetle?

I love to look closely at bramble flowers in summer, you never know quite what you might find and this chance encounter with a small beetle I did not recognise was to reveal one of the most remarkable associations between species that I have come across. This beetle is known as the fairy-ring longhorn (Pseudovadonia livida) because although the adult beetle lives most of its life nectaring on flowers, its larvae a thrive in soil infested by the fairy-ring champignon fungus! I know some insects are dependent on other insects but an insect dependant on a fungus must surely be unique to this species?

Widespread in southern England but not that common it can be found from May until September. Given fairy rings are not that common I guess a beetle dependant on it is not going to be common either. 


 

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If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 4 days ago

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