Bloody-nosed beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa)

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Bloody-nosed beetle on a leaf
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Bloody-nosed beetle fact file

Bloody-nosed beetle description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderColeoptera
FamilyChrysomelidae
GenusTimarcha (1)

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).

Size
Length: 12- 20 mm (2)
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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).

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Bloody-nosed beetle range

This species is found in southern and central Europe (2); it is widespread in Britain and common in some areas, but becomes rare in the north (1).

You can view distribution information for this species at the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
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Bloody-nosed beetle habitat

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Bloody-nosed beetle status

Widespread and common in Britain (3).

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Bloody-nosed beetle threats

Not threatened at present.

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Bloody-nosed beetle conservation

Conservation action has not been targeted at this species.

There may be further information about this species available via the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
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Find out more

For more on invertebrates and their conservation see Buglife, the Invertebrate Conservation Trust at:
http://www.buglife.org.uk/

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
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Glossary

Larvae
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.
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References

  1. National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (Jan 2003): http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nbn/
  2. Lyneborg, L. (1976) Beetles in colour. Blandford Press, Dorset.
  3. Sterry, P. (1997) Complete British Wildlife photo guide. Harper Collins Publishers, London.
  4. Harde, K. W. (2000) A field guide in colour to beetles. Silverdale Books, Leicester.
  5. Joy, N. (1933) British beetles; their homes and habits. Frederick Warne & Co., Ltd., London.
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Image credit

Bloody-nosed beetle on a leaf  
Bloody-nosed beetle on a leaf

© Philippe Clement / naturepl.com

Nature Picture Library
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Tel: +44 (0) 117 911 4675
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