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National Insect Week returns in 2020

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  • Black-tipped soldier beetle

    Common red soldier beetle, Rhagonycha fulva

    Factsheet

    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

    Factsheet

    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

    Factsheet

    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

    Factsheet

    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

    Factsheet

    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

    Factsheet

    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

    Factsheet

    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...
  • Lily beetle

    Lily beetle, Lilioceris lilii

    Factsheet

    Lilioceris lilii – lily beetle (family Chrysomelidae) Many chrysomelid leaf beetles are brightly coloured and metallic. One of the most striking is the bright red lily beetle. This species was only sporadically found in UK until the mid-20 th century when it became established. In recent years it...
  • Spangled water beetle

    Spangled diving beetle, Graphoderus zonatus

    Factsheet

    Graphoderus zonatus - (family Dytiscadae) Like all dytiscid diving beetles, the spangled water beetle is predatory on other aquatic animals, including tadpoles, and can swim fast with its broadened hind legs and its streamlined shape. However, Graphoderus zonatus is a protected species in Britain...
  • Acorn weevil

    Acorn weevil, Curculio glandium

    Factsheet

    Curculio glandium - (family Curculionidae) All weevils have a snout (known as a ‘rostrum') with the mouthparts at the end, and this acorn weevil has the most strongly-developed snout of all British weevils. The species spends most of its life as a white larva that hollows out the kernels of acorns...

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Did you know?

Hottest and most explosive

Bombardier beetles spray boiling phenolic liquid at predators like shrews, at several squirts per second!

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