Thursday, 31 August 2017

Post 470 - Happily Reclining Hairy Rove Beetle

Hairy Rove Beetle (Creophius maxillosus)
Hey everyone, Post 470 and a little look at a new species, for me, that I saw whilst I was away on holiday. Our family always tends to go to North Norfolk in the summer and we have a lovely relaxing time visiting the beaches, RSPB Titchwell, Hickling Broad, Sheringham Park and lots of places like that.

On one of our walks I just happened to spot an unusual shaped and sized insect on a plant when I was walking on a path down to the beach near Weybourne. I had a closer look and realised it was a Beetle but didn't know what sort. So I took a few photos so I could look it up when I got home as I hadn't taken all of my nature books with me.

So I got home and downloaded all of my photos and rediscovered these and started to look it up. I found out it was a Hairy Rove Beetle so I was able to do a bit of research on it, this is what I found out.
  • They are a Beetle that it widespread in the UK but not that common.
  • It's quite a big beetle at 15 - 22mm long. 
  • The size, sturdy build and light grey hairs on the dark body are the main identifying characteristics of this beetle.
Posing nicely
  • It seems they like a variety of habitats but mostly wooded habitats, so finding this one hanging around in the sand dunes was maybe unusual.
  • That said in hot weather, and it was a lovely day, they are supposed to like decaying vegetation.
  • Other places you may find them include compost heaps, decaying fungus, dung, and carrion (dead animals).
  • This is because they are predators and they feed on all sorts of larvae and adults of other insects. 
  • They are attracted to the smell of decay and I guess that means to them they will find an easy meal of maggots in whatever is rotting.
  • They are a fast moving beetle and tend to run away or take to the wing if disturbed so again it was probably unusual to find this one happily resting on a plant and reasonably happy to have its photo taken.
But eventually headed to cover
  • Also when threatened it may curl itself up or raise its tail in a similar way to a Scorpion. As another deterrent for predators they secrete a number of substances that are irritating.
  • Their life-cycle is quite short, the egg stage is 4 days, larvae 14 days and pupae stage 16 days, though I couldn't find out how long adults live. 
  • You should be able to see the adult beetles from spring right through to October/November.
Well, that's another fascinating beetle and one I'll keep an eye out for on my walks, though from what I've read it might be a while before I see another one.

Hope you enjoyed,


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