Worcestershire Record No. 6 April 1999 p. 7


Kevin McGee

The following is an account of some scarce and threatened beetles which I managed to photograph during my field trips in 1998. Readers may recall that in the last issue of the Worcestershire Record I wrote an article detailing my records for Longhorn beetles Cerambycidae found in the county last year. Many of these are classified as Notable B species, or rather more threatened. I have omitted Cerambycidae from this article.

Hadrobieginus denticollis. AnobiidaeNotable BA single adult photographed on the exposed heart-wood of an ancient willow at the NW boundary of Monkwood on 5.8.98. This species is entirely dependent on hard dry dead-wood of many broad-leaved trees, either in woodland or isolated trees.
Platyrhinchus resinosus AnthribidaeNotable BThree adults found and photographed on a small pile of fungus-infected ash logs at the Knapp & Papermill Reserve on 15.3.98. One adult photographed at Feckenham Wylde Moor reserve on 25.4.98, again on a rotting ash log; another adult on living ash on Bredon Hill 6.6.98. This species is associated with dead wood, usually ash.
Platystomos albinus AnthribidaeNotable BOne adult photographed on heavily fungus-infected oak log at Monkwood 24.5.98. Both this and the previous species display superb cryptic camouflage and are very difficult to see, matching their dead wood surroundings to perfection. However, inspection with a hand lens of photographic macro-lens is very rewarding. Another adult on the Monkwood log pile 20.6.98.
Lebia chlorocephala CarabidaeNotable BOne adult seen briefly and photographed in an herbaceous border at the entrance to the Knapp & Papermill on 7.6.98. All carabids are extremely difficult to approach and photograph, being very sensitive to movement and very fast in their bid to escape!. This species has been recorded from a variety of habitats, usually on calcareous soils, where it preys on the larvae of various Chrysomelid (leaf) beetles.
Chrysolina oricalcia. ChrysomelidaeNotable BAn adult found and photographed on cow parsley at Monkwood on 24.5.98. A small colony found near our home at Drakes Broughton, again on cow parsley in nearby orchards - four adults seen early evening 12.6.98. This species is associated with cow parsley family (umbels) and their shiny black appearance makes them very noticeable on these plants
Donacia clavipes. ChrysomelidaeNotable BOne of the strikingly beautiful metallic-looking reed beetles. Six found in a small clump of bur-reed by the river Avon at Eckington Bridge on 28.5.98. The beetles are very shy and tend to fly away or crawl into the unfolding new-growth of the plant, and all this at the edge of deep flowing water! However, one was persuaded to pose for the camera to ensure correct identification.
Tillus elongatus. CleridaeNotable BTwo (male and female) were found and photographed on dead heart wood of old apple trunks at Knapp & Papermill orchard on 7.6.98. Both were actively inspecting the bore holes of tiny Anobiid beetles that covered the surface of the dead wood., and which Tillus elongatus predates.
Megatoma undata DermestidaeNotable BOne adult found and photographed on the surface of a rotting tree trunk (?young elm), at Monkwood on 24.5.98. A species heavily dependent on dead wood.
Melandrya caraboides. MelandryidaeNotable Bone adult found and photographed wandering across the track on the main ride in Tiddesley Wood on 27.5.98. Another photographed on the dead wood of a sickly crab apple at Knapp & Papermill on 7.6.98, this individual was infested with mites.. This species is reliant on dead wood, especially willow stumps.
Variimorda villosa. MordellidaeNotable BOne of the tumbling flower beetles, this species is more lethargic that some of its commoner relatives and easy to [photograph when located.. I found several on meadow sweet at Grafton Wood on 5.7.98, and again 30.8.98. Also three, again on meadow sweet (leaves) 4.8.98.
Ischnomera cyanea. OedemeridaeNotable BAn adult photographed on aspen leaves in Tiddesley Wood on 27.5.98. Another photographed on flowers of hogweed at Drakes Broughton Orchard 31.5.98. This rather beautiful little dark green beetle is difficult to separate from I. caerulea, so careful inspection by an expert coleopterist is recommended.
Pyrochroa coccinea. PyrochroidaeNotable BOne of the unmistakable cardinal beetles, however it pays dividends to have a careful look at the colour of the head should you find one! The common P serraticornis has an all-red head, P. coccinea has a black head and to me the elytra are a deeper more crimson-red with a lovely velvety texture. There is a third cardinal to look out for: Schizotus pectinicornis which also has a black head but this one has a red spot in the middle of the pronotum. S pectinicornis is a notable A species so please check cardinal beetles carefully. I have photographer P coccinea at the Knapp & Papermill on 16.5.98 when six were counted, and one at Monkwood 1.6.98.
Gnorimus nobilis. ScarabaeidaeVulnerableRed Data Book category 2. This large metallic-green chafer (which superficially resembles a rose chafer) has been known from Tiddesley Wood for a few years now (John Meiklejohn pers. com.) I was lucky to encounter one taking pollen from hogweed just inside the N entrance of the wood on 7.7.98. Conditions were hot and sunny and several photographs were taken. I was even luckier to find another on angelica flowers at Monkwood on 5.8.98. Again, a few photographs were taken, but this individual was more nervous. According to P F Whitehead the Monkwood record may be the first for the wood and for the 10 km square. The larvae develop in wood mould in fruit and willow trees and development takes about two years.
Dendroxena quadrimaculata. SilphidaeNotable BA rather handsome individual was found by my partner Geraldine in a rather unusual situation making steady progress across the foliage of low-growing nettles. Unusual in that it is apparently usually associated with the canopy of oak trees where it predates caterpillars. Perhaps it had only recently emerged. It was in Monkwood on 24.5.98. Incidentally, Geraldine re-christened it Battlestar galacticus which I consider rather more appropriate having witnessed its steady, indomitable progress in its quest to conquer all!


I would like to thank Paul Whitehead for kindly confirming identification of the above species from my slides, particularly the more difficult ones H. denticollis, L. chlorocephala, I. cyanea, M. undata and D. clavipes


Hyman PS & Parsons MS 1992 A review of scarce and threatened coleoptera in Great Britain. Part one. JNCC Peterborough.
Harde KW 1984 A field guide in colour to beetles. Octopus (recently reprinted in 1998 by Blitz Editions

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