Tuesday 18 June
Bloody-nosed beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa)
Bloody-nosed beetle fact file
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Bloody-nosed beetle description
The bloody-nosed beetle is a large, flightless species, which earns its common name from its peculiar form of defence; when threatened it exudes a drop of bright red fluid from the mouth (3). The rounded body is blackish in colour, often with a shiny iridescence, and the larvae are a metallic bluish colour (4).
- Length: 12- 20 mm (2)
Bloody-nosed beetle biology
This species tends to be active at night, and spends the day hidden in moss or beneath stones (2). Adults are seen between April and June (3). They feed on bedstraws (plants belonging to the genus Galium) (2).
The extraordinary defensive behaviour in which drops of foul-tasting red liquid are released from the mouth serves to deter potential bird predators from eating one of these beetles (2).Top
Bloody-nosed beetle rangeTop
Bloody-nosed beetle habitat
Often found in hedgerows (5).Top
Bloody-nosed beetle status
Widespread and common in Britain (3).Top
Bloody-nosed beetle threats
Not threatened at present.Top
Bloody-nosed beetle conservation
Conservation action has not been targeted at this species.Top
Find out more
For more on invertebrates and their conservation see Buglife, the Invertebrate Conservation Trust at:
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- Stage in an animal's lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
- National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (Jan 2003): http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nbn/
- Lyneborg, L. (1976) Beetles in colour. Blandford Press, Dorset.
- Sterry, P. (1997) Complete British Wildlife photo guide. Harper Collins Publishers, London.
- Harde, K. W. (2000) A field guide in colour to beetles. Silverdale Books, Leicester.
- Joy, N. (1933) British beetles; their homes and habits. Frederick Warne & Co., Ltd., London.
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