It is a species of Brachycerus (Curculionoidea, Brachyceridae). Three species have been recorded from Cyprus (argillaceus Reiche, 1857, callosus Gyllenhal, 1833, and sinuatus Olivier, 1807), but neither of these three is present in our collections to check.
Thank you for this. I've managed to find some good photos of argillaceus and sinuatus on the net and I don't think these match mine. Both seem to have ridges in fairly distinct and straight lines whereas the one I photographed has little "peaks" all over its back. That leaves callosus and I haven't been able to find any photos on the net and I don't have a book that shows it.
Perhaps comapre with Brachycerus plicatus Gyllenhal, 1833. It is known from Spain, several islands in the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Near East. No records from Cyprus. All according to Fauna Europaea.
I've had a look at some photos of Brachycerus plicata and it doesn't look like the one I photographed. The pattern on the back of plicata looks more defined, with distinct lines whereas on my photo it looks more random. This may be a difference in the angle of the photos but I'm not convinced that mine is plicata.
Thank you for the info.
I've found before that the quality of info on the internet depends on who has put it there. Anyone can upload photos and there is no way of knowing how expert their identification is. I could upload this photo and label it as brachycerus callosus - anyone using to identify a speciment that they've seen wouldn't know that I have no idea if it really is.
I've had another search for photos of brachycerus callosus with no success. There are various websites with info on brachycerus with photos of everything but callosus! If this is callosus then I appear to be the only person in the world with a photo of it or else everyone else is hiding theirs!
I may just have to be satisfied with knowing that it is brachycerus and that's more than I thought I might get, given that it is a relatively plain little thing with not much to go on.
Thank you for your help with this.
If you look on the web (in so far as you can trust it) there are several species of Brachycerus which look sufficiently similar that it becomes clear that ID will be a problem without the specimen. For example:
In the latter case two specimens are illustrated with dorsal pictures and they look very different! There is obviously some variability. So I suspect we will never know. But it does illustrate the continuing importance of taking specimens and building a collection - here we might have recorded a species new to the country! So please don't listen to all these misguided people who say that collecting is wrong!
I think you are on the right track with B. lutosus ,I spotted this specimen in Lesbos ,and thought it
to be B. lutosus ,but as you say true identification cannot be positive without close examination.
Thank you for this but I don't think I want to go around killing things just so that I can identify them! And I certainly wouldn't have wanted to try and bring it back alive!!!
Belatedly the thought occurs that I really should have taken more than one photo but as I say it was alive and not interested in posing for photos. Nor did it help that it matched its background so well.
I'll give up on this one now.
Thank you to everyone who has looked at this for me.