Ant Beetle - Thanasimus formicarius
Although the pattern varies, the elytra always has two pale cross bars. The thorax is red. It reaches a length of up to 10mm.
Feeds on bark beetles and their grubs in various trees, it is therefore often seen on the trunks of trees.
Mostly May to August.
This beetle spends two years in the larval stage. The adults overwinter and disperse in spring to fallen trees to await the arrival of their bark beetle prey. They first bite off the legs of those they catch to stop them running away.
The species is fairly widespread in England, but less so in Scotland or Wales.
Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 14 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
Enter a town or village to see local records