Beetles

Introduction

Beetles are a popular group to study and make up the largest insect order (Coleoptera) in the UK with over 4,000 species. Approximately 2,000 of these can be found in Leicestershire and Rutland making beetles far and away the largest group.

Leicestershire and Rutland resources

Checklist of the beetles of VC55

Recent records of scarce VC55 beetles - Graham Finch

Other useful websites and publications

Beetles - internet Beetles - books
Beetles of Germany - wonderful site with top class images. Many of the species are the same as those found in the UK. The Carabidae (ground beetles) of Britain and Ireland - a specialist key but with colour illustrations to many species. The Royal Entomological Society has keys for other beetle families in the series but not all are illustrated.
The Ground Beetles of Ireland - great photos of live beetles. Has a photographic key. Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe (Collins Pocket Guide) - an excellent guide to all insects, with a good beetle section.
Mark Telfer's Beetles - very useful guide to studying beetles with test keys for carabids and staphylinids. Longhorn Beetles - an excellent 2 part identification guide published in British Wildlife Part 1:18:406-14, Aug 2007, Part 2: 19:35-43, Oct 07.

The Coleopterist - a comprehensive site about UK beetles. Has over 700 beetle photos though layout is not easy to use for finding a look-alike.

UK beetle checklist - free download

The Leicestershire Coleopterists - Derek Lott's fascinating account of 200 years of beetle hunting in the County.
Watford Coleopterist Group - a very useful gallery with quality photos (of mounted specimens) and some good ID guides. Beetles of the Czech and Slovak Republics - Karel Hurka - very good general overview with quality colour plates. Many beetles overlap with British the fauna.
John Walters illustrated ID guides - a series of excellent downloadable leaflets - most free. Andrew G. Duff - Beetles of Britain and Ireland, Volume 1: Sphaeriusidae to Silphidae. The first volume of a new series covering the British and Irish Coleoptera.  Intended to be the first comprehensive account since Joy (1932).  Expensive but worth the investment.
European Carabidae - excellent site with comprehensive gallery of high quality images. Has a great function to allow comparison of selected species.  
Woodland Trust Ladybird Guide - download this 5 page photo guide to British ladybirds.  
Ladybird larvae - photo id pdf from the Ladybird Survey.  
Beetle News - free, downloadable newsletter, most issues include excellent guides to a beetle group.  
Mike's insect keys - an excellent resource listing free online keys to many beetle families.  
Weevil keys - photographic guide to UK weevils  
Beetles and Beetle Recording in Great Britain - run by CEH, this website has lots of photos and ID resources.  
Illustrated key to soldier beetles - Mark Gurney's excellent illustrated guide to this common beetle group.  

Recording schemes

Leicestershire and Rutland (VC55) has a long and distinguished history of beetle recording (see the Leicestershire Coleopterists above). The late Derek Lott continued this excellent work and was recognised as an international expert, particularly for the Staphylinidae family. Today the County Coordinator for beetles is Graham Finch.

As with all records, any submissions you make to NatureSpot will be automatically forwarded to both local and national recording schemes.