Bloody-Nosed Beetles

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Bloody-Nosed Beetle

Scientific name:  Timarcha tenebricosa

Size:  Approx 18 to 23mm long

Distribution:  Found in many parts of Britain, especially the southern counties of England and the coastal areas of Wales

Months seen:  April to September.  Mostly active at night

Life Span:  Approximately 9 - 12 months

Habitat:  Grassland, heathland and hedgerows

Food:  Cleavers (Goosegrass) and Ladies Bedstraw

Special features:  Bloody-nosed beetles are one of the largest leaf beetles found in the UK.  They can sometimes be found walking slowly over grassy areas in spring and early summer.  The body has an irridescent blue-black sheen, and the antennae have the appearance of a tiny black string of pearls.

When viewed from above, the line down the centre of its abdomen gives the appearance of wing casings, but in fact the two halves are fused together .  Bloody-nosed beetles are flightless.

The unusual name comes from the beetles habit of releasing a drop of blood from its mouth when it feels threatened.

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