2.5 to 3.0 mm. Body black with characteristic pattern of pale grey or golden brown scales. Head densely punctured and sparsely scaled, with a shiny raised longitudinal ridge between eyes. Eyes prominent, with a deep narrow incision which is visible from above. Antennae black with 2 to 3 apical segments red in male, only 1 or 2 in female, segments 1 to 4 variously red in both sexes. Segments 4 to 10 strongly serrate in the male, much less so in the female. Pronotum conical, sides without borders or tubercles.
Superficially similar to Bruchus rufipes which also has the middle tibiae orange as well as the front ones. However in Bruchidius varius the pronotum contracts very strongly from the base to behind the head, while in Bruchus it remains much broader for most of its length.
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Where Red Clover is found.
April to September.
There is a single generation each year with adults appearing after hibernation in April, new generation adults begin to appear in July and August and remain in the dry flower heads until they leave to find cover for hibernation. Eggs are laid at the bases of flowers from early May to June or July and hatch within a few days, larvae probably develop within clover seeds (Hodge, 1997) and growth is completed within 30 to 35 days.
Added to the British list in 1997 (Hodge, 1997) from a single specimen found in East Sussex in 1994 it has spread rapidly through much of the southern half of Britain.
Appears to be establishing in Leicestershire and Rutland where numbers are increasing.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015