Saturday 10 March 2012

An Impostor

Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricos)
The Invertebrate Conservation Trust Buglife are once again in search of the Oil Beetle. As Buglife states,
"Oil beetles are incredible insects, but they are under threat. Four of Britain’s native oil beetles are thought to be extinct, and the remaining four species have suffered drastic declines due to the changes in the way our countryside is managed."
They are asking everyone to keep their eyes open during countryside walks, and to report any sightings to Buglife (via this link).
Needless to say I got a bit excited when I saw this splendid fella crawling through the new green undergrowth today. Not because it was the first beetle of the Spring but because it might just be one of the searched-for specials (Forget looking for Faberge eggs in London streets, this is much more exciting!)

On my return home, I quickly looked up my Billy Beetle, only to find he is a bloody-nosed beetle and an impostor! What a shame. Oh well at least the same can't be said of these other wonderful indicators of Spring. There is certainly no doubting the identities here.

Sweet Violet (Viola odorata)

Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)

Hazel Catkins (Corylus)

Norway Spruce cones (Picea abies)


  1. Yes last year I got very excited about finding an 'oil beetle' only to realise it was a bloody nosed beetle (which are pretty amazing in their own way!)

    I love the catkin photo.


  2. Thank you for your comments Celia.
    Ye he surely is an impressive beetle in his own right. Meanwhile, I will keep looking for the oil beetle.

    Another image from the catkin series is going into my greeting card range which hope to have up and running on my website in the coming months.


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