Worcestershire Record No. 26 April 2009 p. 31


Roger Umpelby

This small (6-15mm long) bright red species seems to be establishing itself across the county with the latest record coming from the south-eastern corner of the county in Ashton-under-Hill in April 2009. As with several previous records the beetles emerged from cut logs both inside and outside. The original source of the logs is not known, but the timber had been stored in the wood yard in the village for well over a year, and since the beetle has a one-year life cycle, it must be established and breeding here. Previous county records are from March 2006 at Defford, Wyre Forest in 2008 and Drakes Broughton in May 2008.

This species is distributed throughout Europe and North Africa and into the Middle East. In central Europe it is one of the commonest longhorn beetles, but in the UK it is rare (RDB2). The larvae feed under bark of dead branches and trunks but, unlike some other longhorn species, eggs are readily laid in newly cut timber. Although oak is the favoured host, other deciduous trees are also hosts.

Sadly like other red beetles in the UK it frequently suffers from ‘mistaken identity’, as most gardeners assume any all-red beetle is a lily beetle Lilioceris lilii and kill them.


MEIKLEJOHN, JOHN. Yet another RDB2 beetle in Defford. 2007 Worcestershire Record No 20 April 2007 p8
BINGHAM, J 2008 Interesting Records 2008. Wyre Forest Study Group Review 2008 p19-20
McGEE, KEVIN 2008 Records of note 2008. Worcestershire Record No 25 November 2008 p12-14