Ontholestes murinus


A very distinctive rove beetle which is around 14mm in length. The thorax has a few gingery hairs and a general brownish mottled appearance, whilst the abdomen shows some grey.

Similar Species

Distinguished from the only other member of the genus, O. tesselatus, by having black legs (the legs are yellowish in O. tesselatus).

Identification difficulty

Almost anywhere that carrion or dung is to be found, particularly common on the carcasses of dead foxes and badgers.

When to see it

All year round but mainly spring to autumn.

Life History

Feeds on carrion and on larva in dung. It is a good flyer.

UK Status

Fairly frequent in southern Britain at least, fewer records from the northern regions.

VC55 Status

Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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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