Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods) ➔ Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods) ➔ Class Insecta (Insects) ➔ Order Coleoptera (Beetles) ➔ Family Chrysomelidae (Leaf beetles)

Cryptocephalus (Cryptocephalus) moraei (Linnaeus, 1758)


  • Cryptocephalus moraei  7009
    Cryptocephalus moraei (Linnaeus, 1758)  Johanniskraut-Fallkäfer   
    Cryptocephalus moraei
    DE, Chemnitz, Stadtpark; 2015-06-16 10:34:07
    Image number: 7009

    DE, Chemnitz, Stadtpark
    2015-06-16 10:34:07

  • Cryptocephalus moraei  7010
    Cryptocephalus moraei (Linnaeus, 1758)  Johanniskraut-Fallkäfer   
    Cryptocephalus moraei
    DE, Chemnitz, Stadtpark; 2015-06-19 11:48:28
    Image number: 7010

    DE, Chemnitz, Stadtpark
    2015-06-19 11:48:28

  • Cryptocephalus moraei  7011
    Cryptocephalus moraei (Linnaeus, 1758)  Johanniskraut-Fallkäfer   
    Cryptocephalus moraei
    DE, Chemnitz, Stadtpark; 2015-06-19 11:49:45
    Image number: 7011

    DE, Chemnitz, Stadtpark
    2015-06-19 11:49:45

  • Cryptocephalus moraei  3048
    Cryptocephalus moraei (Linnaeus, 1758)  Johanniskraut-Fallkäfer   
    Cryptocephalus moraei
    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz; 2009-06-06 12:43:40
    Image number: 3048

    DE, Chemnitz, Hutholz
    2009-06-06 12:43:40

  • Cryptocephalus moraei  7332
    Cryptocephalus moraei (Linnaeus, 1758)  Johanniskraut-Fallkäfer   
    Cryptocephalus moraei
    DE, Chemnitz, Stadtpark; 2016-06-15 16:59:57
    Image number: 7332

    DE, Chemnitz, Stadtpark
    2016-06-15 16:59:57

Cryptocephalus moraei belongs to the subfamily Cryptocephalinae, tribe Cryptocephalini.
Europe, Asia Minor, east to Siberia, south to Jordan.
Open, sunny biotopes in which the common St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) grows.
The 3 - 5 mm long Cryptocephalus moraei has a glossy black ground coloration without metal shine. On the elytra there are regular rows of dots, as well as two yellow or yellow-red spots each on the outside and on the rear end. The pronotum is finely dotted and has bright rear angles. Both side margins of the pronotum are not visible at the same time when viewed from above. The legs are black, the underside of the front femora, front tibiae and tarsi yellow.
The males have a larger x-shaped pattern on the forehead, the females have 2 yellow (or yellow-red) longitudinal spots.
Cryptocephalus moraei is a warmth-loving species that lives almost exclusively on St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum). The imagines can be found on their host plants from May to August. They sit at the leaf margins eating coves into the leaf. The females of the genus Cryptocephalus cover the eggs with a scaly coating of a hardening secretion, which often also contains excrements and plant parts, to protect them from predators, and drop them afterwards to the ground below the forage plant.
After hatching, the larvae live and develop in the foliage layer below the host plant. They pass through 5 larval stages. The larvae of the genus feed on withered leaves. They live in a protective larval case made of dead plant material and excrements, which they carry around constantly and never leave. The case is increased by a secretion produced with special anus glands and excreted faeces. To pupate, the larvae climb upwards on plants. The entrance of the larval case is closed. After pupal period, the beetles leave the larval case through an opening gnawed opposite the original entrance.
Cryptocephalus moraei undergoes a one-year development cycle.

References, further reading, links:
  1. Rheinheimer, Joachim, & Hassler, Michael: Die Blattkäfer Baden-Württembergs, 2018, 928 pages, Kleinsteuber Books (Karlsruhe), ISBN 978-3-9818110-2-5
  2. Arved Lompe: Die Käfer Europas - Ein Bestimmungswerk im Internet