Friday, 15 May 2009

Bloody-nosed beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa)

I have found this species of beetle in great abundance here on the Penllŷn and in most months of the year as an adult, we even found one on the coast path above Nefyn beach at Xmas ! In recent weeks I have been finding large numbers of the larva feeding on Cleavers or Goosegrass ( Galium aparine) as its sometimes called. In my native Yorkshire its also know as sticky willie !

The bloody-nosed beetle is one our largest leaf beetles which can most often be found, in spring and early summer, walking slowly over grassy areas. The beetles gets its common name from a defensive behaviour of exuding a foul-tasting bright red fluid from its mouth to deter birds and other predators. The top photo shows the adult and the other two show the larval stage feeding on Cleavers.

The number of new to me beetles species I have seen in the last few weeks on the Llŷn is truly staggering! For an entomologist like myself to find so many new species of insects in such a short period is akin to a kid let loose in a sweet shop :-))

Rhagium bifasciatum, sometimes called the two-banded longhorn beetle, is one of the most commonly found Longhorn Beetles. It may reach 22mm long and can be distinguished by the two prominent pale yellow bands on each of the elyta, although up to seventeen different patterns have been recognised. Its colouration and patterning enable it to camouflage and blend into its coniferous habitat and this can prevent potential predation. I found my first specimen of this specieson the Llŷn this week at a clear felled commercial woodland I have been working. The photos show the beetle "posed" on a log in my garden. The hole showing in the log is nothing to do with the beetle by the way its one of the holes I drilled into the log to encourage some wasps and bees to use it.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


Spotted my first live Adder whilst out cycling today. Spotted just about to cross the lane near Tynanelog as I cycled back from a trip up Mynydd Mawr


Andrena cineraria

Andrena haemorrhoa

Andrena fulva - Tawny Mining Bee
Three rather nice solitary mining bees seen in the last month or so. I have seen many other species as well but am unable to be able to identify them with any certainty unfortunately.