Thanasimus formicarius-Ant beetle

Description
Although the pattern varies, the elytra always has two pale cross bars. The thorax is red. It reaches a length of up to 10mm.


Habitat
Feeds on bark beetles and their grubs in various trees, it is therefore often seen on the trunks of trees.

When to see it
Mostly May to August.

Life History
This beetle spends two years in the larval stage. The adults overwinter and disperse in spring to fallen trees to await the arrival of their bark beetle prey. They first bite off the legs of those they catch to stop them running away.

UK Status
The species is fairly widespread in England, but less so in Scotland or Wales.

Byrrhus pilula – Cavenham heath NR

This is an all brown pill beetle with inconspicuous rows of dark and light brown markings on the elytra. The name Pill Beetle stems from the ability to retract all appendages into grooves underneath the body, feigning death in this manner and resembling a rabbit dropping
Habitat
They live among grasses and mosses and are very slow moving.
When to see it
All year round.
Life History
Believed to feed on mosses, as larvae and adults.
UK Status
Widespread in Britain, but probably overlooked at times.

Megatoma undata – Cavenham Heath

4 to 6 mm. Black with distinctive white markings on the pronotum and elytra. Freshly emerged specimens are initially brown.
Habitat
The typical habitat of the adults is around dead wood although they may also be found on flowers e.g. Crataegus or Malus in the spring and early summer when they may be pollen feeders.
When to see it
April and May
UK Status
In Britain this species is mainly found south of the Humber.

Megatoma undata

Megatoma undata

Platyrhinus resinosus -Scarce Fungus Weevil- Lode

you can’t imagine the amount of bird poops I’ve looked at thinking it was one of these beetles , which proves its bird poop camouflage works

Description
This is truly an odd looking creature and could hardly be confused with anything else. The mix of dark and light areas on the elytra may vary, but the general appearance does not – the ‘face’ is always lighter due to a covering of pale hairs. Also known as the Cramp-ball Fungus Weevil.
Habitat
Woodland.
When to see it
June and July are peak times for the adult.
Life History
The larvae develop inside the black fungus known as King Alfred’s Cakes or Cramp Balls (Daldinia concentrica).
UK Status
It is not quite as scarce as its common name would suggest. British records come mainly from England around a line from the Humber to the Severn.

Elater ferrugineus – River Cam

Elater ferrugineus Linnaeus, 1758
Size – 17-24mm.

Description – Larger specimens are among the largest Elaterids in Britain. A rather variable species – males can be uniformly bright orange/red over the pronotum and elytra, with a darker brown head or dark brown on the head and pronotum, with dark red elytra. Females are coniderably smaller and uniform dark brown. Shallow rows of pits run the length of the elytra. The legs are black, with slightly lighter brown towards the apicies of the tarsi. The antennae are mid-brown to black and extend just beyond the posterior edge of the pronotum in males and are shorter in females.

National Biodiversity Network map showing the distribution of Elater ferrugineus across Britain and Ireland.
British and Irish distribution of Elater ferrugineus Linnaeus, 1758 based on records held by the National Biodiversity Network.

NBNSYS0000010968

Distribution – Few British records, mostly from Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and London, many of these historic. An isolated record from the Swansea area.

Chrysolina polita – Bury Ditches Hill fort Clun

Description
Length 6.5 to 8.5 mm. Conspicuous with its shiny red-chestnut elytra and dark metallic green pronotum.
Habitat
Amongst the foliage of trees and bushes.
When to see it
March to October.
Life History
They generally overwinter as adults.
UK Status
Fairly common and widespread in England and Wales, fewer records from Scotland.
VC55 Status
Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 109 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.