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2714 Views 5 Replies Last post: Jul 14, 2013 6:05 PM by Clive Washington RSS
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Jul 12, 2013 3:43 PM

What manner of beetle is this please?

I live near the border of the London Borough of Croydon, London Borough of Bromley, Kent and Surrey. My house was built in 1968 of 'modern' style. Woodland is to the front and rear of the property - mostly deciduous trees.

small picture of beetle.jpg

Over half-a-dozen of these have appeared in the front of the house (west facing) over the last few weeks - mostly in the evenings.


They are about 20mm or so long (one was somewhat smaller) and as beetles go, seem a little stupid - they either fly around manically, move about randomly making annoying rustling noises or just stay stock still with no pattern as to what they are going to do next.


They seem to be some sort of longhorn beetle and I first wondered if they might be the dreaded (old-)house borer or house longhorn beetle (Hylotrupes bajulus), but I'm too far round London from their Surrey homeland here in the UK and the shape/colour/size isn't quite right. I can't find anything like this in any of my insect books or on line.


Can anyone identify them please? Should I be worried? Are these slowly eating my floorboards/floor joists/furniture and I haven't seen the problem yet or are they just blundering in from outside? What should I do with them other than catch them and fling them out the window?


I've not seen anything like these before and I've lived here since 1986.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 13, 2013 8:17 AM (in response to AndrewMore)
    Re: What manner of beetle is this please?



    I am in two minds...


    If the head-thorax was a slightly different shape, I'd say it was a wood tiger beetle, Cicindela sylvatica (also called heath tiger beetle).


    You'll see from that web page that this species is of interest; to quote:

    "The beetle has been given priority status under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) and has been included in the English Nature's Species Recovery Programme. The beetle population has declined in England by 65% over 40 years."


    There are five British tiger beetles; they are at the top of the list here


    More photos of related species here



    As explained on these pages, the taxonomy for tiger beetles is in a state of flux, many subgenera and subspecies being recognized or not depending on the authority consulted:



    ...But because of that head-thorax shape, it might be something else.

    Other opinions needed...!




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    • Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 13, 2013 8:44 AM (in response to MikeHardman)
      Re: What manner of beetle is this please?

      This is a bit of a puzzle.  It's definitely a longhorn, looks like one of the Clytini, but in this country that restricts you to 2 species which are black with yellow bars, one being the well-known wasp beetle (Clytus arietis) which is very abundant this year.  From the colour I would suggest Xylotrechus or Chlorophorus but neither of these have UK species - they are ocasional imports.  They don't look like Hylotrupes.


      I think you need to get hold of a few of these and get them to someone who knows.  I'd be happy to have a look at them if you want to send them to me.  Always fun to look at something unusual!

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      • Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 13, 2013 9:29 AM (in response to Clive Washington)
        Re: What manner of beetle is this please?

        Thanks Clive - good to know it is a puzzle even for you, too!


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