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Cerambyx cerdo 

Scope: Europe
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Coleoptera Cerambycidae

Scientific Name: Cerambyx cerdo
Species Authority: Linnaeus, 1758
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Cerambyx Longicorn, Greater Capricorn Beetle
Taxonomic Notes: Three subspecies are recognised from Europe: C. c. cerdo (in western, central and southern Europe), C. c. acuminatus (in eastern Europe, Caucasus, Asia Minor, Iran) and C. c. mirbeki (in Spain and northern Africa).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-05
Assessor(s): Horák, J., Büche, B., Dodelin, B., Alexander, K., Schlaghamersky, J., Mason, F., Istrate, P. & Méndez, M.
Reviewer(s): Alexander, K. & Nieto, A.
Justification:

European regional assessment: listed as Near Threatened because, although the species is still reasonably widely distributed, the population in most of the European countries is in significant decline and it is dependent upon veteran trees which are also declining in Europe. This is a very specific habitat type which is already highly fragmented and subject to continuing significant decline. Although this species has a relatively wide distribution, its Area of Occupancy is small as it is only found in veteran trees which are scattered across the landscape at very low densities. The rate of loss of veteran trees has not been quantified, but it is significant, and it may potentially exceed 20% in the next ten years (= three generations). Moreover, there is very little regeneration of suitable habitat across the species' range. Once the existing veteran trees have died, there will be no replacements in many areas. Even if efforts are made now to re-plant appropriate tree species, there may still be a 'gap' during which time there would be very little suitable habitat available. Action is urgently needed to protect and appropriately manage existing veteran trees, as well as to ensure that suitable habitat continues to be available in future.

EU 27 regional assessment: listed as Near Threatened because, although the species is still reasonably widely distributed, the population in most of the European countries is in significant decline and it is dependent upon veteran trees which are also declining in Europe. This is a very specific habitat type which is already highly fragmented and subject to continuing significant decline. Although this species has a relatively wide distribution, its Area of Occupancy is small as it is only found in veteran trees which are scattered across the landscape at very low densities. The rate of loss of veteran trees has not been quantified, but it is significant, and it may potentially exceed 20% in the next ten years (= three generations). Moreover, there is very little regeneration of suitable habitat across the species' range. Once the existing veteran trees have died, there will be no replacements in many areas. Even if efforts are made now to re-plant appropriate tree species, there may still be a 'gap' during which time there would be very little suitable habitat available. Action is urgently needed to protect and appropriately manage existing veteran trees, as well as to ensure that suitable habitat continues to be available in future.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is widespread throughout much of Europe but increasingly rare or absent in the north and south-western Europe (Bense 1995).

It is also found in the Caucasus, Asia Minor and northern Africa.

In Hungary this species is widespread in the hilly and mountainous areas, but virtually absent in the north-east. It is much more sporadic on the lowlands (O. Merkl pers. comm. 2009). In Romania it occurs where old oaks are present. In the European part of Turkey it has been reported from Istanbul (Acatay 1943, Schimitschek 1953, Erdem and Canakcıoglu 1977, Oymen 1987, Canakcıoglu 1993, Lodos 1998) and from Kırklareli (Ozdikmen and Caglar 2004, Malmusi and Saltini 2005). In Italy it has been reported from all the administrative regions (except in Aosta Valley) (Sama 2006). In France it has been reported from all the French Mediterranean area; it becomes more scarce and localised in the northern part of the country (B. Dodelin pers. comm. 2009). In Portugal it is probably present across all the country, but records are lacking from the centre; there are many recent records from the north and south.

It is absent from Britain and Ireland. There is sub-fossil evidence for its occurrence in Britain up until 3690 +/- 100 BP, from Cambridgeshire fenland bog oaks Quercus (Duffey 1968). More recent records have all been casual importations.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Algeria; Armenia (Armenia); Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Czech Republic; Denmark; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Georgia; Germany; Greece (Greece (mainland), Kriti); Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Latvia; Moldova; Montenegro; Morocco; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal (Portugal (mainland)); Romania; Russian Federation (Central European Russia, South European Russia); Serbia (Kosovo, Serbia, Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Spain (mainland)); Sweden; Switzerland; Tunisia; Turkey (Turkey-in-Europe); Ukraine (Krym, Ukraine (main part))
Possibly extinct:
United Kingdom (Great Britain)
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):10
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:4166-1

Population [top]

Population:Has suffered a dramatic decline in the number of populations and in population sizes across central Europe over the 20th century (Buse et al. 2008).

In Ukraine this species is common.

In Hungary the population size and trend have not been quantified, but the species became much rarer in the second half of the 20th century. However, viable populations still occur in older stands of oak and in a few wood pastures. In Romania it is well preserved in some protected areas from the south, south-west and south-east where old oak forests exist; in the Carpathians can be found in traditional pastures with old oaks and large deciduous forests (P. Istrate pers. comm. 2009). In Germany it is distributed throughout all German States, but the population has heavily declined and the species is almost Extinct. In France it seems to have disappeared from landscapes that have suffered massive changes in land use (suppression of hedges); it is more common in the south also in villages and city parks (B. Dodelin pers. comm. 2009). In Italy it is localized but common and it also is common in Spain. In Sweden it is rare. In the Czech Republic it is  rather common in the south-east and there has been a strong population decline in the western part of the country. In Slovakia there are many sites in the south and east.

In Portugal there is no information about the populations and the abundance of recent records is probably related to a higher sampling effort in the last two decades (J.M. Grosso-Silva and P. Soares-Vieira pers. comm. 2009). In the European part of Turkey the population size and trend have not been quantified but the species is considered a pest.

In the UK it was definitely present during Holocene (sub-fossil evidence) but no reliable evidence for breeding in the historic period; occasional imports with timber; single sighting in New Forest in 1966 and yet no other records from this well-recorded area.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This is an obligate saproxylic species. This species lives in veteran trees which are currently in decline across Europe; regeneration of these trees is slow and there may still be a 'gap' during which time there would be very little suitable habitat available for this species.

It develops in Quercus. The larvae first develop under the bark of stressed living or dying trees, later burrowing deeper in the wood of sick, sun-exposed stems. The life cycle is at least three years, with pupation in late summer in the wood. Adults winter in the pupal cell and emerge in V-VIII, and are found on the host plants - it is predominantly a nocturnal and crepuscular species. In France trees (Quercus, Castanea) with traces of C. cerdo usually have a diameter greater than 40 cm and are sun exposed. The species is below the altitude of 900 m. In Romania it has been reported from all type of oaks. In the south, it has been found in Quercus cerris, Quercus pubescens, Quercus pedunculiflora, and in the north, it has been found in Quercus robur, Quercus petraea. Adults became active from mid May, until August in mountains. During the day they are hidden inside holes, under bark, and during the evening they become active. In the European part of Turkey larvae are said to develop in Acer, Carpinus, Castanea, Cupressus, Fraxinus, Fagus, Platanus, Prunus, Salix, Quercus, Ulmus. Adults are active in VI-VII and the life cycle is three or four years (Canakcıoglu 1993).

In Hungary this species lives in thermophilous oak woods (mainly in turkey oak woods) in the hills and the lower mountain areas. Important populations occur in wood pastures and parklands where huge, old, solitary pedunculate oaks occur. 

Systems:Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Saproxylic Coleoptera tend to be popular with beetle collectors although trade is rarely an issue, the only exceptions being a few larger species of more dramatic form or colour.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

This species is restricted to veteran trees, so any activities which destroy these trees (e.g. cutting down avenues) is strongly detrimental to the species. The main overall threat is likely to be degradation or loss of habitat quality, involving structural changes in the tree populations arising from changing land use – affecting age structures and tree density. Exploitation from forestry is often a key immediate issue, but equally damaging can be long-term changes towards canopy closure and loss of ancient trees as a result of non- or minimum-intervention management systems which all too often exclude grazing by large herbivores. Fragmentation and increasing isolation of beetle populations are also key factors.

Felling of sick or dying trees - especially in the favoured, open sunny situations, where they are more vulnerable to this treatment and where more visible to people - is a threat to this species.

In Hungary this species is threatened by habitat loss because of the forest management (removal of old trees) in the hills and mountains. Lowland and wood pasture populations are threatened by abandonment of the grazing activity and reforestation (the old stems are no longer exposed to the sun) (O. Merkl pers. comm. 2009).

In Romania removal of the occupied oaks from pastures and forests is an issue; also local people use these for firewood (P. Istrate pers. comm. 2009).





Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention and Annex II and IV of the EU Habitats Directive.

In Hungary important populations of this species live in protected areas and Natura 2000 areas. The species is legally protected in Hungary. In Germany there are several actions and plans (monitoring and management) in place according to the EU Habitats Directive. In Germany this species is listed as Critically Endangered (2009). It is also included in the Red Book of Ukraine. In Italy there are management plans in SIC.

Key actions needed are to retain veteran oaks where they are in open country and to retain dying trees in situ. In denser stands of oak, opening up to improve sun penetration will favour this species.

Citation: Horák, J., Büche, B., Dodelin, B., Alexander, K., Schlaghamersky, J., Mason, F., Istrate, P. & Méndez, M. 2010. Cerambyx cerdo. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T4166A10502932. . Downloaded on 17 August 2017.
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