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Mordellidae: Tumbling flower beetles

Mordellistena variegata (Fabricius, 1798)

Mordellistena variegata
  • Cambridge, Stourbridge Common TL469597, 26 July 2016

  • Tumbling flower beetles are small, and so-called from the erratic motions they make when escaping predators. The extended abdominal tip assists in these motions.

  • Members of the family are typically found on umbellifer flowers.

  • NBN Atlas

Oedemeridae: False blister beetles

Oedemera lurida (Marsham, 1802)

Oedemera lurida
  • Cambridge, Trumpington Meadows TL433543, 2 June 2015

  • Lacks the iridescence of O. nobilis (below), and neither sex has swollen legs. Feeding habits are similar to nobilis.

  • A third species O. virescens is hard to differentiate from lurida but is much scarcer.

  • NBN Atlas

Thick-Legged Flower Beetle Oedemera nobilis (Scopoli, 1763)

Oedemera nobilis, male Oedemera nobilis, female
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 25 May & 1 June 2014

  • The female on the right lacks the distinctive swollen legs of the male

  • Adults feed on nectar and pollen of various flowers

  • Larvae are reported to feed on stems of thistles

  • The species has expanded its range markedly over the last decade and is now widespread south of The Wash. Suddenly become common in Cambridge in spring 2014.

  • NBN Atlas

Pyrochroidae: Cardinal beetles

Red-headed Cardinal Beetle Pyrochroa serraticornis (Scopoli, 1763)

Pyrochroa serraticornis
  • Cambridge, Byron's Pool TL434545, 20 May 2015

  • Readily distinguished from P. coccinea which has a black head.

  • May be found on flowers, trunks and stumps where it hunts other insects.

  • Larvae live under bark and feed on bark beetle larvae, fungal hyphae and soft cambium tissue.

  • NBN Atlas

Scraptiidae: False flower beetles

Anaspis humeralis (Fabricius, 1775)

Anaspis humeralis
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 20 May 2015

  • Adults widely distributed and found on hawthorn blossom.

  • Larvae are said to be "lignicolous", i.e. associated with wood.

  • NBN Atlas

Tenebrionidae: Darkling beetles

Lagria hirta (Linnaeus, 1758)

Lagria hirta
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 23 Jun 2002

  • Common on foliage and flowers in summer

  • Larvae live in leaf litter

  • Some authorities place this genus in a separate family Lagriidae

  • NBN Atlas

Mealworm beetle Tenebrio molitor Linnaeus, 1758

Tenebrio molitor
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 31 May 2015

  • Larvae are known as mealworms and can be a pest by eating stored grain. They are used as pet food, wild bird food, and fishing bait, and even eaten by humans in some cultures.

  • Mainly central and eastern England. NBN Atlas

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