Black Headed Cardinal Beetle

This cheery chap is a Black Headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa coccinea). They used to be rare in Surrey and Hampshire but now you’re much more likely to see one whizz past you in a blaze of scarlet. That’s what happened to me, and I tracked him until he landed and posed for me. His red-headed cousin is even more common.

They are predatory beetles, feeding on other insects. Their flattened larvae are adapted to live under the bark of trees. I saw this one at Home Farm wildlife reserve in Hampshire.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Black Headed Cardinal Beetle

  1. Are these the beetles they make cochineal dye from? He really is a very beautiful colour – and those gorgeous accessories – black legs and antennae!!

  2. Found quite a few of his red-headed cousin Pyrochria serraticornis on Sunday at Langford Lakes in Wiltshire. I found both in my garden last year. The black headed version is my favourite though. Reminds me of a Grenadier guard.

  3. Marc are the P. coccinea rare in Wiltshire? Apparently they were very rare a century or so ago but the populations have bounced back in certain areas (Surrey and Hampshire, for instance). Not sure about Wiltshire though, I think you’re still lucky to see one in most parts of the country.

      • I contacted the Hampshire county recorder with this one as I read that they were rare, and was a little crestfallen to hear that they’re quite common now. šŸ˜€ They still wanted to log the sighting and have the grid reference for it though. They do like to hear when you spot something a little unusual, as they can keep their records up to date.

  4. Pingback: Red-headed Cardinal Beetle | The Foraging Photographer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: