Tanbark Borer - Phymatodes testaceus


Length 8 to 13mm. Very variable in colour from golden brown, through reddish to a deep blue-black. A common form has the thorax reddish and the elytra deep blue.

Identification difficulty

The adults are active nocturnally and will come to light but are rarely seen otherwise under normal circumstances.

When to see it

May to July is the peak time.

Life History

Eggs are laid under the bark of standing dead timber or recently cut trunks with oak being the main host, although several other species are used.

UK Status

A local species across southern England and Wales to Nottingham and with single records from south Yorkshire and north Wales.

VC55 Status

Infrequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were 25 VC55 records for this species up to June 2017.

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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