Nature Profiles

Beetles of Britain



Longhorn Beetle (Rutpela maculata)

Whitecross Green Wood NNR, Oxfordshire

A common and prominently-marked beetle of woodlands and hedgerows, R.maculata can recognised by the contrasting yellow and black patterns on its wing cases.  The pattern can be made up of spots or blotches and is quite variable.

This longhorn beetle species is common throughout much of lowland England and Wales, but is very rare in Scotland.



Carabus violaceus

Corrie Fee NNR, Angus

This attractive beetle scurried across my path in Corrie Fee NNR in Scotland.  It took a bit of catching, and when let go, it ran off at high speed!  I've also frequently seen them on Ben Lawers, even at high altitude.




Garden Chafer (Phyllopertha horticola)

Parsonage Moor NNR, Oxfordshire

This small, attractively-coloured beetle can be a serious garden pest in some areas, with the larvae decimating the roots of cultivated plants.

Like many invertebrates, it is commonest in the south of Britain, although it is also present as far north as the Scottish Highlands.

Thanks to Colin Williams for the ID!



Cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha)

Calver, Derbyshire

One of the iconic insects of late spring and early summer, the impressively-sized beetles are often seen crashing into lights and windows in late May, when they emerge to mate.

Like many large insects, the entire life cycle of the species occurs over a long period - the larvae only emerge as adults after two or three years underground.




Forest Shield Bug (Pentatoma rufipes)

Garston Wood RSPB Reserve, Dorset

A common insect in gardens as well as forests.  This one came to my overnight moth trap.

The scientific name refers to the reddish-brown legs of this attractively-marked bug.



Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens)

Calver, Derbyshire

Text coming soon!



Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa)

Martin Down NNR, Dorset

A familiar beetle of chalk downland in southern England, the Bloody-nosed Beetle is named for the bright red defensive secretion it releases from its mouth when attacked.

They are the largest of the British leaf-eating beetles.




Swollen-thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis)

Martin Down NNR, Dorset

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Leaf Beetle (Cryptocephalus aureolus or hypochaeridis)

Durlston Country Park, Dorset

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Common Red Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva)

Coombs Dale SSSI, Derbyshire

Commonly seen in summer when they aggregate on umbellifer flowerheads to eat soft-bodied insects like aphids, the Common Red Soldier Beetle is an abundant species in grassy habitats all over Britain.

Seven Rhagonycha species are found in Britain.



Psilothrix viridicoeruleus

Durlston Country Park, Dorset

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Ctenicera cuprea (a click beetle)

Cronkley Fell, Teesdale

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Grypocoris stysi (a Mirid Bug)

Craighoyle Wood SSSI, Cowal

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