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National Insect Week returns in 2020

Thick legged flower beetle

(Oedemera nobilis)

Order

Beetles

Oedemera nobilis female

© Francisca Sconce

This beetle belongs to the False blister beetle taxonomic family, so called because their body fluids contain Cantharidin, a poisonous defence to predators.

What do they look like?

Thick legged flower beetles are metallic green with thin bodies of 6 to 11 mm long.  The head may have a coppery or blue tinge and the wing cases (elytra) are pointed and gape apart showing the abdomen underneath  Males have thick thighs (femora) and females do not.

Where do they live?

These beetles are found on open-structured flowers such as daisies and cornflowers.

When can you see them?

Adult thick legged flower beetles are around in Spring and Summer.

Life cycle

Adults emerge and can be seen on flowers in Spring and Summer, they mate and females lay their eggs in tree bark.  Larvae hatch and feed in the dry stems of plants such as thistles, it is not known whether this beetle overwinters as a larva or a pupa.

What do they do?

These beetles feed on pollen and nectar.

Did you know?

When the beetles feed on the pollen and nectar of flowers, they can also transfer pollen between flowers, pollinating just as bees do.

Where can they be found?

Thick legged flower beetles occur in western and southern Europe.

Did you know?

Most reviled insect in the UK

Cockroaches, unfortunate as we have cute native cockroaches (Ectobius sp.) living by sea and on heathland.

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