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National Insect Week returns in 2020

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  • 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...
  • Sulphur beetle

    Comb-clawed beetle, Ctenopius sulphureus

    Factsheet

    Cteniopus sulphureus - (family Alleculidae) The very distinctive sulphur beetle is the only bright yellow beetle found in the UK. The adults live in flowers, where they feed on nectar and pollen. The species is usually only found in very dry places such as chalk or sandy grassland in the south of...
  • Green tiger beetle

    Green tiger beetle, Cicindela campestris

    Factsheet

    Cicindela campestris - (family Cicindelidae) Tiger beetles are closely related to ground beetles but, unlike ground beetles, they always fly away when disturbed. They are mainly found in areas with sandy soils. The larvae live in burrows and wait for prey passing close to the mouths of their...
  • Rose chafer

    Rose chafer beetle, Cetonia aurata

    Factsheet

    Cetonia aurata - (family Scarabaeidae) This typically metallic-green chafer is on the wing – rather noisily – in midsummer, and is usually seen feeding on flowers. This species is restricted to southern areas of Britain and is not found north of the English Midlands, though a similar bronze-...
  • Violet ground beetle

    Violet ground beetle, Carabus violaceus

    Factsheet

    Carabus violaceus - (family Carabidae) This is one of the largest of British ground beetles. It is widespread in the UK: it is especially associated with wooded areas, but is also commonly found in gardens. Like most ground beetles it is a nocturnal predator and often spends the daytime hidden...
  • Soldier beetle

    Soldier beetle, Cantharis pellucida

    Factsheet

    Cantharis pellucida - (family Cantharidae) Soldier beetles are so-called because they are slender and straight, and often have red, black, blue or yellow colouring reminiscent of regimental uniforms. Cantharis pellucida is a common species, though the adults are seen only for a rather short period...
  • Banded pill beetle

    Pill beetle, Byrrhus fasciatus

    Factsheet

    Byrrhus fasciatus - (family Byrrhidae) This pill beetle is one of the very few insects that eats moss. It is a slow-moving beetle but it has an effective defence from attack: it can withdraw its legs and antennae into special grooves on the underside of its body, making it difficult for a predator...

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Did you know?

Most unappetizing?

Most cultures, except those originating from NW Europe, eat insects such as deep fried cockroaches and midge paté.

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