Minotaur Beetle - Typhaeus typhoeus

Description

12 to 20mm. Shining black. The pronotum of the male has forward-projecting horns on either side, slightly variable in length, tending to be proportionately longer in larger specimens. There is a smaller horn in the centre. The female lacks the horns but has a sharp tubercle at each anterior angle of the pronotum.

Photo ID?
Habitat

Prefers short, grazed turf on dry, sandy soils.  Creates burrows under the dung of rabbits, sheep, deer, horse and occasionally cattle.  These can reach 1 to 1.5m in depth.

When to see it

Jan-May and Aug-Oct.  Most sightings are in Spring or Autumn.

Life History

The larvae feed on herbivore dung in side branches of the tunnels, built and stocked by the adults. The adults overwinter as pairs in burrows and will sometimes emerge on mild winter days.

UK Status

Local in England and Wales becoming scarce further north. Very rare in Scotland.

VC55 Status

Occasional and local in our region.  All records have been confined to the Charnwood Forest area. There were a total of 23 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map