Large Striped Flea Beetle

Phyllotreta nemorum

Large Striped Flea Beetle (Phyllotreta nemorum)

The name of this species of beetle appears contradictory as it is quite small, growing up to no longer than 3.5mm long. Also called the ‘Turnip Flea Beetle’, it has distinctive yellow bands on the elytra. Similar to Phyllotreta undulata.

It feeds on various wild and cultivated Brassicaceae, where it can become quite a pest. The adults feed on the leaves, and the larvae are leaf-miners.

Seen April to September, and found in various habitats, but especially cultivated land. Found mainly in England, widespread but local.

May 2015,  rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2015. Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

Cereal Leaf Beetle

Oulema rufocyanea

Cereal Leaf Beetle (Oulema rufocyanea)

This is quite an attractive beetle with bright metallic bluish-green elytra (wing cases) which are strongly punctured with tiny holes. The head is dark metallic blue to black, and the thorax and legs are toffee coloured. It is very similar to Oulema melanopus, and separation via genitalia dissection is usually necessary to distinguish the species. Length 4 to 6mm.

Cereal Leaf Beetle (Oulema rufocyanea)

The adults and larvae feed on grasses and may cause damage to cereal crops, and may be considered a pest species.

Seen April to September, and found in grassy places. Common and widespread in the southern half of Britain.

March 2014,  rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2014. Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

Bloody-nosed Beetle

Timarcha tenebricos

Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricos)

The Bloody-nosed Beetle is Britain’s largest leaf beetle. It is black with a bluish iridescence, flightless and is fairly slow-moving. It gets its name from releasing a drop of red fluid from its mouth when disturbed. It grows up to 23mm long.

Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricos)

It feeds on bedstraws. It is seen April to September. Found on coastland, farmland, grassland and heathland. Common and widespread in the south of England and Wales.

Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricos)

Photographs of the Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricos), taken August 2013, Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth, Dorset. © Pete Hillman 2013. Camera used Nikon Coolpix P500.