Common Malachite Beetle - Malachius bipustulatus

    Description

    Length: 5.5-6 mm. Emerald green (can be bronze) elytra with twin red spots. The pronotum is transverse and usually has red margins on the anterior corners. The front of the head between the eyes curves back.

    Similar Species

    Cordylepherus viridis is very similar but with a blue tint to the metallic elytra. It has a more quadrate pronotum that never has red margins. The front of the head between the antennae projects forward.

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance
    • Elytra bright green without a bluish tint
    • Anterior angles of pronotum thinly red
    • Pronotum is transverse
    • Anterior margin of head between antennae curved backwards.
    Habitat

    The adult beetle is a predator and is found mainly on vegetation, where it hunts on flowers and amongst grasses.

    When to see it

    From April to July/August.

    Life History

    Later in its season, it is also found on trees where it lays its eggs in cracks in the bark. The larvae are predacious on smaller insects living under the loose bark of trees.

    UK Status

    Widespread and common in England and Wales.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 111 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map