Friday, 14 August 2015

Day 277 - Beautifully Natty and Bonny Bloody-Nosed Beetle

Bloody-Nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa) out for a walk
Hey everyone today's Day 277 and as you will all know, I have recently been to Norfolk and, while I was there, I went to the lovely RSPB reserve of Titchwell Marsh. It's such a great place to go not just for birds but for insects as well. As I mentioned in the last post I saw lots of birds but also lots of great bugs too. Today is a great bug, in fact it is one of the largest beetles I have ever seen. The Bloody-Nosed Beetle. I look for them at Nosterfield as it's the only place in Yorkshire that they are found but when I go to Norfolk, I was so happy to find three!

So, here are the facts:
Looking for lunch - what's under here?
  • There's a reason why they are the largest Beetles I have ever seen. They are the largest Leaf Beetle in the whole of the UK.
  • There has actually only been one sighting recorded around where I am, they are only really found in the South of England and the West of Wales.
    What if I follow this stem?
  • The reason they are called the Bloody-Nosed Beetle is because, when they are scared, they emit a foul-smelling red liquid from their nose. Both sadly and happily, he didn't do it for us.
    It's hard work finding lunch sometimes!
  • These beetles cannot fly and but after all, they are still a beetle so they are quite small. Therefore they cannot get out the way of people very quickly and may get squashed.
  • They are mostly seen between April and June but they can be found through to September as well.
  • They are mostly active at night during these times and only move in the daytime when they are disturbed. 
  • When we found ours, two were on plants in the verges, and one was walking along the path. After taking his picture, we put him somewhere safe away from where people would be walking.
    At last - tasty Goosegrass!
  • They are found in Uplands, Coastal, Farmland, Grassland and Heath lands. This is weird as Titchwell is a Marsh, but it could technically be a Grassland as well.
  • I said above that they are the largest Leaf Beetle in the UK. This is true and they have a rather specific length of 2 - 2.3 cm.
  • They like to eat Goosegrass and Lady's Bedstraw both as Adults and as larvae.
Here are some links to more information:

Hitching a lift to safety.
Wildlife Trusts - Bloody-Nosed Beetles

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. Amazing shots Zach, love this set of captures you got. - Tasha

  2. Great encounter with aninteresting creature!