Pale Tortoise Beetle (Cassida flaveola)

This 5mm tortoise beetle is associated with stitchworts and sandworts. It has an almost metallic gold lustre with clearly defined lines of punctures on its elytra. It overwinters as an adult in grass tussocks and leaf litter.

Pale Tortoise Beetle Cassida flaveola, Bliss Gate, 28 August 2017 ©Rosemary Winnall

Pale Tortoise Beetle Cassida flaveola, Bliss Gate, 28 August 2017 ©Rosemary Winnall


Adonis’ Ladybird (Hippodamia variegata)

This ladybird is not often recorded in north Worcestershire, but a few have been spotted in and around Wyre this month. August to October is the best time to see this species which is said to be extending its range northwards, probably in response to climate change. The colouration and numbers of black spots varies as its name suggests. Originally more commonly found around the coast, it is increasingly found inland, often in dry open areas, but not always in the same place from one year to the next.

Adonis Ladybird, Bliss Gate, 28 August 2017 ©Rosemary Winnall

Cardinal Beetle Pyrochroa coccinea

This colourful cardinal beetle has emerged in Wyre and can be found on ground vegetation in May and June. There is another closely related species with a red head, although this black-headed species seems to be the more commoner of the two in the Wyre Forest. Their larvae live under the bark of dead trees.

Cardinal beetle Pyrochroa coccinea, Wyre Forest, May 2017 ©Mick Farmer

Platystomos albinus weevil

Whilst recording in Rock Coppice, Oliver Wadsworth discovered this attractive and rare fungus weevil Platystomos albinus, the larvae of which are associated with dead beech and alder wood. It is similar to its close relative Platyrhinus resinosus which we see occasionally, and whose larvae develop in Cramp Balls Daldinia concentrica fungi.

Platysomos albinus, Rock Coppice, 22 April 2017 ©Oliver Wadsworth

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