BEETLE INFO (text adapted from ukbeetles.co.uk, CC BY 4.0)
Occurs locally throughout Europe, in the south mostly in mountainous regions, otherwise locally common to the far north of Scandinavia and extending east into Russia. The typical habitat is deciduous woodland where the adults may be seen on low herbaceous vegetation or fallen timber. They are active in bright sun and disperse by flight, although they rarely occur far from their breeding sites. Eggs are laid in small batches among the bark on trunks or recently fallen broadleaf timber, more rarely on coniferous trees, mostly oak, birch, willow and alder. Larvae develop beneath bark, feeding on organic detritus and dead insects etc. They also predate other subcortical larvae and at high densities may become cannibalistic. Development takes at least two years and they generally occur in numbers, often with members of two generations occurring together. All stages contain the poison cantharidin – it is present in and probably synthesized by the males and passed to females during courtship; she will then transfer it to the eggs during oviposition and the larvae are thought to acquire it by consuming the eggshells.
False Oil II
(An earlier version of this, False Oil, appeared on A Beautiful Idea’s Heal The People, Heal The Land compilation, released to support the Unist’ot’en people in their struggle against resource extraction on their land – https://abeautifulidea.bandcamp.com/album/heal-the-people-heal-the-land)
A common species throughout lowland western and southern Europe, and especially common in warmer Mediterranean climates including most of North Africa, but it is absent from much of Europe east of Germany and it extends north only to Denmark (where it is scarce), and the UK. Adults occur from April or May and persist into August; they are pollen feeders and may be found on the flowers of a wide range of plant families. They are mostly active in sunshine and may occur in just about any situation with a suitable supply of flowers, such as grassland, waste ground, parks and meadows etc.
A widespread Western Palaearctic species occurring throughout Europe, including Scandinavia and the UK, but it is generally rare and in all countries its occurrence is sporadic. A stenotopic species, typical habitats are old deciduous forests with hollow trees, wooded parkland and meadows, and sometimes individual old and hollow trees. Adults appear from the end of June until August and are crepuscular or nocturnal, sometimes coming to light, and are occasionally active during the day. The larvae inhabit the putrescent hollows of old ash, elm, beech, willow and oaks and prey on other saproxylic insect larvae, particularly the eggs and larvae of Lucanids and other Scarabaeoidea, and will often occur in wood previously infested with such larvae. The life cycle takes 4-6 years depending on the food source.
Generally common throughout Europe from the Mediterranean north to the UK and reaching the Arctic Circle in Fennoscandia, to the east it occurs through Asia Minor and Russia to Siberia and Central Asia. Typical habitats include open and dry areas bordering wetlands, sand dunes, grassland and woodland rides but on the continent, it appears to be more eurytopic, occurring in damp meadows, peat bogs, fens, pastures, deciduous woodland, hedgerows and domestic gardens, a reflection of the abundance of both the beetle and its various hosts. Adults occur year-round although most probably remain within the cocoon through the winter. They become active from January, and mating begins after a period of feeding. Adults can be extremely difficult to find – when disturbed they withdraw their appendages and display thanatosis, often for long periods, and strongly resemble a host seed; the long femora are held parallel and oblique to the body, resembling the scar on a seed which marks its point of attachment to the seed pod.
A widespread and generally common lowland species occurring throughout Europe from France to the UK and southern Fennoscandia in the north, and the northern Mediterranean to the south, extending through Russia into Siberia to the east. In the UK it is essentially a coastal species but there has been a general decline, as there has across much of Europe, due to human disturbance. The typical habitat is open sandy or clay-sandy soils with patchy vegetation. Adults occur from May until August and are active in warm weather, flying or swarming on sunny days and warm evenings and often visiting flowers. They graze a wide range of foliage and have been recorded eating pine needles on the continent. Females dig down into the sand to oviposit, usually choosing areas of exposed sand clear of leaf-litter or other debris and may lay several batches of eggs. Larvae develop between 30 and 60 cm below the surface – they consume the roots of wild grasses as well as cereal crops and shrubs etc, and pass through three instars; in the autumn they dig deeper into the soil and overwinter in the second instar then resume feeding and complete their development the following spring. Pupation occurs in a subterranean cell and this stage lasts between thirty and forty days.
A very widespread species occurring from lowland to low mountain altitudes throughout Europe, north to the Arctic Circle and east through Asia Minor to Siberia. It is also found all over the Middle East and, following introductions, is widespread in North America and Canada. Across much of this range, especially in Europe, there has been a severe decline in recent decades; it is not clear why the species has become so rare but changes in farming practices, woodland management, water abstraction and habitat fragmentation are thought to have contributed. They are short-lived, about 3 weeks, and in any given year the season lasts for about a month. Typically occurring among long grass in flower meadows or along hedges bordering agricultural land, they are active in bright sun and visit a range of flowers and cereal ears, feeding upon pollen, but are also known to predate other insects and their larvae on these flowers. Little is known of the biology but on the continent larvae occur in dry, decaying wood, under bark and in dry rot-holes, and in the UK they have been found under logs.
Generally common throughout Europe, from North Africa to Southern Scandinavia and the UK and from Portugal east through Asia Minor, Israel, Syria and Northern Iran, to the far east of Russia and Japan. The typical habitat is broadleaf and mixed woodland, parkland and gardens, with plenty of damaged and fallen timber and logs, but the beetles are rarely seen as they are crepuscular and nocturnal.
A widespread and generally common species occurring throughout the Palaearctic region to the north of Scandinavia and from Portugal to the far east of Asia and Japan. Found in a wide range of not too wet habitats – it is most often encountered in wooded situations but also occurs in parkland, gardens, moorland and overgrown grassland etc. and may also occur in urban areas, for example around communal refuse bins below high-rise flats. Adults occur throughout the year and are nocturnal, spending the day under logs and bark etc. or in the soil. They are flightless, becoming active at dusk and may cover a wide area as they move rapidly in search of prey. Both adults and larvae are predatory, consuming mostly soft-bodied prey such as slugs, snails, worms and insect larvae, but will take a wide range of food as necessary.