Platycis minutus

This small beetle (5-8mm) has been seen in the Wyre Forest again this year. At first it looks like a small cardinal beetle, but unlike these it has distinctive yellowish tips to the antennae. It is a Notable B species. The larvae feed inside rotting wood, and the adults are usually found on vegetation not far from deadwood.

Platycis minutus, Wimperhill, 5 September 2016 ©Rosemary Winnall

Cytilus sericeus – a Pill Beetle

Kevin McGee photographed this small Pill Beetle recently in Wyre. There are just 13 members of the Byrrhidae family in the UK, and they have the ability to withdraw their head and appendages into grooves on the underside of their body which helps them to avoid being caught by predators. They are the only group of beetles to feed on mosses both as larvae and adults.

Cytilus sericeus, on Ramsons, nr Dowles Brook, 8 May 2016 ©Kevin McGee

Endomychus coccineus, False Ladybird

This attractive beetle is not found very often in the forest. This False Ladybird is not related to ladybirds but could easily be mistaken for one. It lives in association with deadwood, especially birch and beech, where it feeds on fungi. This was found at night.

Endomychus coccineus, New Parks, 3 September 2015 ©Rosemary Winnall

Minotaur Beetle Typhaeus typhoeus

Minotaur Beetles are found occasionally in Wyre, but it is only the male that has these 3 impressive projecting horns, making him easy to identify. They hibernate in the burrows in pairs over winter and breed in the spring. They feed mainly at night, and provision their deep egg tunnels with rabbit droppings and other dung.

Male Minotaur Beetle, Park House woods, 6th May 2015

Male Minotaur beetle, Park House woods, 6 May 2015

Cercyon quisquilius, a Water Scavenger Beetle

This tiny beetle (about 2mm in length) is common and widespread, but easily overlooked. It is one of the Hydrophilidae, the Water Scavenger Beetles. It breeds in dung and decaying vegetation, the first ones emerging early in the year. It can be found throughout the summer and into the autumn. This one landed on the bonnet of my car!

Cercyon quisquilius, 30 March 2014, Bliss Gate

Lesser Stag Beetle (Dorcus parallelipipedus)

The Lesser Stag Beetle can be seen occasionally in Wyre. It flies at night and a female arrived at my mercury vapour moth light at Bliss Gate on 1st August 2013. The photograph shows another female from the same site in 2005. The females can be separated from the males by the presence of 2 raised bumps on the top of their heads. The males have broader heads.The eggs are laid on dead wood and the adults overwinter under bark.

Lesser Stag Beetle female, Bliss Gate, 16th June 2005