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.

    Identification difficulty

    Feeds on bark beetles and their grubs in various trees, it is therefore often seen on the trunks of trees.

    When to see it

    Mostly May to August.

    Life History

    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.

    UK Status

    The species is fairly widespread in England, but less so in Scotland or Wales.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 14 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map