Sunday, 24 May 2015

Funky beetles!

Funky beetle No. 1: The Red-breasted Carrion Beetle

Two of these curious, red-brown beetles were clinging to/gnawing on an old bird skeleton and were ID'd from a great website here. Interestingly, it says that this species is a "common woodland species, feeding on carrion and rotting fungi" as the two I found were on moorland, several km from any woodland. 

 In the pic below you can see how it has retracted it's head.

Funky beetle No. 2: The Violet Oil Beetle
Check out this very special and large beetle!

This one is a fine, well-fed adult and it's kinked antennae show it is a male. As juveniles these beetles look totally unlike adults and are called triungulins. Lying in wait for a solitary mining bees to visit the flowers they are hiding on, they hitch a ride back to the bee's nest. Once there, young beetle munches on the food gathered for the bee's own larvae! More info here and there are two great ID online guides, Buglife and John Walters.