Hairy Rove Beetle - Creophilus maxillosus


15 to 22 mm. The large size and stout build, coupled with the distinctive pattern of creamy grey hairs on an otherwise dark body will identify this beetle. The shiny thorax is free from hairs. It has a habit of curling up when it feels threatened, and may also raise its tail 'Scorpion like'.

Identification difficulty

In hot weather they may be found on dung pasture, either flying above the ground or active on dung, feeding on other insects, in this situation adults move very quickly and are difficult to observe. They are also found among decaying vegetation of all types e.g. compost heaps or around large decaying fungi. They are attracted to the smell of decay.

When to see it

Adults are active from early spring to October or November.

Life History

Adults and larvae are carnivorous and feed on other insects, more especially on dipterous larvae in a variety of habitats.

UK Status

Widespread but not particularly common in Britain.

VC55 Status

Infrequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 24 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map