Silpha atrata


It is around 15 mm long with a shiny appearance and broadly spaced ridges along the length of the elytra. A red form of this beetle occurs and can sometimes be common in certain localities.

Identification difficulty

Common in many different habitats including woodland, meadows and gardens. It can sometimes be seen resting under logs and debris with its head tucked under the pronotum.

When to see it

January to May.

Life History

Sometimes called the Black Snail Beetle, this species does indeed specialise in feeding on snails and has a narrow head adapted to this role. The larvae also feed on pulmonate snails and earthworms.

UK Status

Quite common and fairly widely distributed throughout Britain.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 107 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