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

Wood Ants up in the air!

In New Parks there is an 8 foot high wooden post in a sunny glade. Wood Ants (Formica rufa) were observed climbing up carrying nest material, so Roger Plant devised a cunning technique to successfully obtain a photograph of the top of the post. We know that these ants often centre their nest on a dead log – but this pole is a bit ambitious! We shall have to see how the nest develops.

Wood Ants taking nesting material up the pole, 3 May 2017 ©Graham Hill

Roger Plant photographing Wood Ants on the post, 3 May 2017

Wood Ants on top of the pole with nesting material ©Roger Plant

 

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

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

Tanyptera atrata ovipositing

This large and impressive cranefly was seen ovipositing on a rotting wood pile in Wyre. The female spent some time searching for the right place to lay, and was observed inserting her abdomen deep inside a crack in the wood as seen here. A male was also spotted nearby.

Tanyptera atrata female ovipositing in dead wood, 18th May 2014