Pollen Beetle - Meligethes aeneus


This is a small black beetle with a metallic brassy or blue-green sheen. There are several very similar pollen beetles but Meligethes aeneus is the most common, particularly early in the year.

Identification difficulty

On most flowers especially yellow ones and particularly common on fields of Oil Seed Rape.

When to see it

From spring to late autumn.

Life History

They are attracted to yellow flowers and indeed most things yellow, including clothing and tennis balls. They occur in large numbers, feeding mainly on pollen but sometimes gnawing on the flower parts. They are an important pollinator though can be a pest of Oil Seed Rape. The larvae feed on the sexual parts of flowers of plants in the Cabbage family, causing the flower to abort.

UK Status

Very common and often abundant particularly in England and Wales.

VC55 Status

Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 155 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