Aiolopus thalassinus (Fabricius, 1781)


Aiolopus thalassinus: Adult at an moist open spot in a humid pasture (Olympus, 600m above sea level, July 2010) [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Female (Olympus, Greece, 1000m asl, July 2012) [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Female (Madeira, Peninsula Sao Lourenco, March 2013) [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Female (Madeira, Peninsula Sao Lourenco, March 2013) [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Female (Madeira, Peninsula Sao Lourenco, March 2013) [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Brownish female (Madeira, Peninsula Sao Lourenco, March 2013) [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Brownish male (Madeira, Peninsula Sao Lourenco, March 2013) [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Brownish male (Madeira, Peninsula Sao Lourenco, March 2013) [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Brownish female (Madeira, Peninsula Sao Lourenco, March 2013) [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Brownish female (Madeira, Peninsula Sao Lourenco, March 2013) [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Brownish adult (Madeira, Peninsula Sao Lourenco, March 2013) [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Brownish adult (Madeira, Peninsula Sao Lourenco, March 2013) [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Female, freshly moulted (Madeira, Peninsula Sao Lourenco, March 2013) [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Habitat in the flood zone of a lake in Northern Greece in 2011. [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Habitat in the flood zone of a lake in Northern Greece in 2011. [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Habitat on drier, grassy slopes near the coast (Madeira, Peninsula Sao Lourenco, March 2013) [N] Aiolopus thalassinus: Habitat on drier, grassy slopes near the coast (Madeira, Peninsula Sao Lourenco, March 2013) [N]

Nutrition:
The species feeds especially on grasses, occasionally also mosses.

Habitat:
Aiolopus thalassinus inhabits river landscapes with gravel banks, wetlands with open soil spots such as gravel, sand or wet soil, wet meadows or wastelands. On Madeira, I observed Aiolopus thalassinus together with Decticus albifrons commonly on dry grassy slopes near the coast. Here it is probably the humid atlantic climate that allows the colonization of such dry habitats.

Life cycle:
The adults occur from June to mid-October. The eggs overwinter and are stored in damp open ground. In the south, Aiolopus thalassinus may be observed year-round (e.g. Madeira in March 2013).

Endangerment: threatened with extinction

Endangerment factors:
In Central Europe Aiolopus thalassinus occurs only in a few river systems such as the Rhine. Here it had been pushed back severely due to the earlier river revisions which had destroyed much of the habitat, and is still threatened by overbuilding, modern agriculture and other intensification. In southern Europe Aiolopus thalassinus is much more common.

Remarks:
Aiolopus thalassinus is widespread in southern and parts of Central Europe, in almost all of the Palaeotropical region (Africa and Asia) as well as in Australia and Oceania.
The insects occur in a green and a brown form. In Europe, the majority is usually green (brown are especially some males). On Madeira, I encountered a population with 80% brownish individuals (all males, most females).



Aiolopus strepens