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National Insect Week returns in 2022


  • Minotaur beetle

    Minotaur beetle, Typhaeus typhoeus


    Typhaeus typhoeus – (family Scarabaeidae) The minotaur beetle is a spectacular dung beetle of heaths, moorlands and mountains, especially in the north and west of the British Isles. The males use the long prongs on the thorax (as seen here) to compete for females. Large males have relatively even...
  • Bloody-nosed beetle

    Bloody-nosed beetle, Timarcha tenebricosa


    Timarcha tenebricosa – (family Chrysomelidae) Unlike the majority of chrysomelid beetles, which are brightly coloured, often with a metallic shine, the adult bloody-nosed beetle is black. It is slow-moving and feeds on bedstraw plants. Its distinctive feature is its defensive reaction of producing...
  • Rove beetle

    Rove beetle, Staphylinus erythropterus


    Staphylinus erythropterus – (family Staphylinidae) Rove beetles are characterized by having greatly shortened wing-cases with their flying wings much-folded underneath. This gives them narrow flexible bodies that allow them to chase their prey rapidly through complex spaces such as densely matted...
  • Black-tipped soldier beetle

    Common red soldier beetle, Rhagonycha fulva


    Rhagonycha fulva – (family Cantharidae) This is probably the commonest British soldier beetle and the adults are found later than other species, in July and early August. It is usually seen on flowers where it feeds on nectar and pollen, but also robs and eats other flower-visiting insects: it can...
  • Longhorn beetle

    Longhorn beetle, Rhagium mordax


    Rhagium mordax – (family Cerambycidae) Some longhorn beetles do not have particularly long antennae – this species is one of them. Rhagium mordax is a common species in the early summer, when the adults are often seen on hawthorn and hogweed flowers. The larvae tunnel and feed in soft well-rotted...
  • Black-headed cardinal beetle

    Cardinal beetle, Pyrochroa coccinea


    Pyrochroa coccinea – (family Pyrochroidae) This distinctively-coloured cardinal beetle has a somewhat flattened shape and comb-like antennae. The adults are usually found on flowers near the edges of woods. The carnivorous larvae live underneath dry bark, where they eat other insects – or each...
  • Common leaf weevil

    Common leaf weevil, Phyllobius pyri


    Phyllobius pyri – (family Curculionidae) The weevil family is one of the largest in the animal kingdom, with a huge number of species (there are more species of weevils in the UK than birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians combined). All weevils have a snout (known as a ‘rostrum') bearing their...
  • Thick-legged flower beetle

    False oil beetle, Oedemera nobilis


    Oedemera nobilis – (family Oedemeridae) This spectacular metallic-green beetle is usually seen on flowers. Only the male – seen here – has the characteristic thickened hind ‘thighs' (femora). This species is common in gardens and grassland, and in open spaces in woods, in the south, but is more...
  • Shining spider beetle

    Shining spider beetle, Mezium gibbum


    Mezium gibbum – (family Ptinidae) As their common name suggests, ptinid beetles have the appearance of small spiders. The peculiar-looking Mezium gibbum has very shiny translucent wing-cases that resemble a bead of condensation. Although it is usually found indoors feeding on accumulations of dust...
  • Stag beetle

    Stag beetle, Lucanus cervus


    Lucanus cervus – (family Lucanidae) The male stag beetle – with its huge antler-like mandibles that are used in fights with other males – is the largest British land beetle. The larvae feed on decaying wood and their development takes up to five years. Due to overzealous clearance of dead wood...


Did you know?

Ant lion pits

Some ant lion species larvae catch their prey by digging pit fall traps.

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