22 Different Types of Beetles in the UK

Different Types of Beetles in the UK
Photo by Péter Szabó

Ladybirds are most likely the most well-known types of beetles in the UK. However, did you know that there are over 4,000 different species of beetles to discover in this area?

Although the following list does not contain every type of beetle that may be found in the UK, it does provide information on the most prevalent beetle species.

Continue reading to learn about 22 of the most vivid and eye-catching types of beetles in the UK.

1. Common Sexton Beetle

The common sexton beetle (Nicrophorus vespilloides) is mostly black but has some orange markings that are easy to spot. The maximum length that it can be is 20 millimeters.

The common sexton beetle is a beetle known as a burying beetle or a carrion beetle because it buries small carcasses and feeds off of them.

You may find it all over Britain. In fact, It can pick up the odor of decomposing flesh up to a mile away.

These types of beetles in the UK are responsible for recycling nutrients into the soil as they consume decomposing animal carcasses.

In forensic entomology, scientists analyze these specimens to identify the approximate time of death.

The parent beetles collaborate to construct a nursery for their offspring within an underground chamber that contains the decomposing body of a bird or animal.

The female will next tend to the eggs and feed the developing larvae with the partially digested carcass.

2. Acorn Weevil

Acorn weevils (Curculio glandium) are only around 4-8 millimeters long, and their bodies have a brownish pattern.

The rostrum, which is a long snout, is the characteristic of the acorn weevil that stands out the most.

The female uses the longer rostrum to drill into the acorn’s center, where she lays her eggs. The adult finally tunnels the acorn out when the larva has finished feeding on it.

Oak woodland is home to the weevils that eat acorns. They are relatively widespread, especially in the southern regions of Britain.

It is also possible to discover them on oak trees found in hedgerows, parks, and gardens.

3. Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn

These types of beetles in the UK measure approximately 25 millimeters in length, omitting the outstanding antennae.

The golden-bloomed grey longhorn’s (Agapanthia villosoviridescens) antennae have an incredible striped pattern.

Longhorn beetles typically have antennae that are significantly longer than their bodies.

You can find the Golden-flowered grey longhorn beetles feeding on a wide range of plant species.

Adults feed on cow parsley, hogweed, and nettles, while the larvae live and feed on plants like thistles.

Around the middle and eastern parts of England, you can look for the beetles between the months of April and August in damp meadows and hedgerows. In recent years, it has significantly increased in prevalence.

4. Tansy Beetle

Tansy beetles(Chrysolina graminis) have a beautiful metallic green color and a coppery shine on their bodies. It measures approximately 11 mm in length.

The extremely rare tansy beetle spends its entire life cycle on and around the tansy plant, as it completely relies on the plant for its survival.

This stunning beetle species is on the verge of extinction in the United Kingdom and is endemic to just North Yorkshire and Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire.

Loss of habitat is the most likely cause since if a tansy plant is removed, the beetle has to walk to find another one even though it has functional wings and can fly.

Because of their similar appearance, tansy beetles and the more widespread mint beetle are frequently confused with one another.

5. False Ladybird

The fake ladybird’s (Endomychus coccineus) body is red, with five black spots, one on its head. Adults range in length from 4 to 7 mm.

Although this beetle’s red and black markings give it the appearance of a ladybird, it is not one. This insect has a flatter body and significantly longer antennae than ladybugs.

The false ladybird is a parasitic insect that feeds on fungi and makes its home beneath the bark of dead or dying trees, particularly beech and birch.

Although it is most common in the south, you can find it throughout Britain.

6. Sulfur Beetle

The sulfur beetle (Cteniopus sulphureus) can grow up to 10 millimeters in length and is bright yellow in color.

The bright yellow coloration of sulfur beetles makes them simple to notice on the flowers they feed upon.

Sulfur beetles are found primarily in coastal regions in the southern part of Britain. Dunes and dry grasslands are two of their favorite types of habitats.

You can observe these types of beetles in the UK on a bright day between the months of May and July, when they are feasting on the nectar and pollen of very small flowers, such as wild carrots and wild thyme. The larvae feed on dead plants and timber that have decayed.

7. Minotaur Beetle

The Minotaur Beetle (Typhaeus Typhoeus) has a shiny black exterior, and the males have three stunning prongs that project from the middle of their bodies.

The length of an adult is 20 mm. The male minotaur beetle is easily identifiable by its three horns resembling a bull.

These types of beetles in the UK utilize these to protect their nest and compete with other males for the attention of females.

There is a species of scarab beetle known as the minotaur beetle that belongs to the family of earth-boring dung beetles called Geotrupidae.

They bring the feces of other animals back to their nests to feed their young, which is an important part of the process of recycling nutrients and waste.

The heaths and moors of England and Wales are home to a sizeable population of rare beetles known as minotaur beetles.

You might get lucky and encounter one of these beetles in the spring or fall, but you’re more likely to find the entrance to one of its burrows if you keep an eye out for a hole that’s one centimeter wide and is near excrement from rabbits, sheep, or deer.

8. Rose Chafer

Iridescent and golden-green in color, these types of beetles in the UK(Cetonia aurata) are around 20 millimeters long.

On hot summer days, the rose chafer insect will buzz busily from blossom to flower, feeding on roses—the larvae of this insect feed on decomposing plant matter, such as compost or rotting wood.

This glittering beetle may be found all the way down through southern Britain to the Midlands, and it has recently become common in the outskirts of London.

People are likely to take notice of the rose chafer beetle because of its huge size and attractive appearance.

One hundred years ago, it was quite common, but it has only lately started to become widespread again.

You can find them in areas such as Wimbledon Common and Brompton Cemetery in London and on blossoming trees in gardens and along streets in other parts of the city.

It is reaching unprecedented levels of prevalence in the city centers in the southern region of Britain.

9. Rosemary Beetle

These types of beetles in the UK  feed on rosemary and are a shiny green color with purple stripes. They are roughly 8 millimeters in length.

This beetle (Chrysolina Americana) thrives on rosemary and other aromatic plants between the months of May and October. Other aromatic plants it feeds on include lavender, sage, and thyme.

In 1994, Researchers discovered the rosemary beetle for the first time in the United Kingdom in the city of London. It swiftly spread throughout the majority of the country.

The species likely made it to North America on an imported rosemary plant. Its native range is southern Europe.

Some gardeners view it as a problem since the larvae and adults eat a small portion of the rosemary or lavender leaves.

In contrast, others regard it as an attractive addition to their gardens and value it for that reason.

10. Rainbow Leaf Beetle

You can find metallic bands of green, blue, gold, and red on the rainbow leaf beetle (Chrysolina cerealis). It is roughly 8 millimeters in length.

The rainbow leaf beetle, which is native to the mountainous regions of Wales, is an even more vibrantly colored insect.

It is presently only found on Mount Snowdon in the UK, as it is extremely scarce there. The larvae of the beetles feed on the blooms and leaves of the wild thyme that grows in that location.

It is one of the relatively few species of beetle in the UK that enjoys legislative protection.

11. Twenty-two-Spot Ladybird

The 22-spotted ladybird (Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata) is lemon yellow in color and has 22 distinct black dots on its body. It is roughly 4 millimeters in length.

Only three of the approximately 50 different species of ladybirds found in the UK are yellow, and one of those is the 22-spotted ladybird.

It consumes the mildew that grows on plants. This is not typical for ladybirds, as they often consume aphids and other small insects that feed on garden plants like roses.

One can find these types of beetles in the UK in woodland, grassland, and even urban areas such as towns and gardens between the months of April and August. They are typical in the countries of England and Wales.

There are two different color varieties: one has a yellow backdrop all the way through, while the other has a white front.

12. Wasp Beetle

The wasp beetle (Clytus arietis), like its namesake, is up to 16 millimeters long and black and yellow in color.

Wasp-like in appearance and behavior, this longhorn beetle can be found flitting about on logs and flowers.

However, despite its unsettling appearance, it poses as an ordinary wasp to avoid being eaten by larger animals.

Adult wasp beetles are effective pollinators and can be spotted feeding on flowers in forests and hedgerows from May through July.

The willow and birch trees provide the ideal conditions for the development of the larvae. This beetle species is common in England and Wales but much less common in Scotland.

13. Green Tiger Beetle

The green tiger beetle (Cicindela campestris) has creamy yellow markings, and its legs are bronze-purple. Its body is bright green. The length of an adult is 10-15 mm.

One of the insects that hold the record for the fastest running speed in the United Kingdom is the green tiger beetle.

It has been observed that certain species of tiger beetles can reach speeds of up to six miles per hour.

These types of beetles in the UK get their name from the formidable jaws, sometimes known as mandibles, that it utilizes to capture other insects and other small invertebrates.

In addition, the larvae have them, and they use them to clamp down on any passing prey that comes too close to their burrow.

Green tiger beetles are prevalent throughout Britain and Ireland, but they favor locations with low levels of vegetation.

They can be found dwelling in heathland, grassland, brownfield sites, and dunes.

14. Stag Beetle

The stag beetle (Lucanus Cervus) is identifiable by its dark body and imposing antlers, which are, more accurately, its jaws. The length of an adult can reach up to 7.5 centimeters.

The largest insect native to the United Kingdom and one of the most common types of beetles in the UK, this species is also known as the greater stag beetle.

It is extremely uncommon, and you can only find them in a limited number of locations in southern Britain.

Because the larvae of stag beetles feed on rotting tree stumps and other decaying wood that has been in touch with the ground for four to six years, it is imperative that one should leave fallen timber and stumps in place.

This species of beetle is extremely uncommon and endangered over the entirety of northern Europe. Yet, the populations in the Thames Valley are among the largest in the entire globe.

In locations like Kew, Richmond, Barnes, and Wimbledon, you might catch a glimpse of them on a balmy evening in June, flying along the sides of wooded roads or simply strolling along the pavement.

The beetles in the Wildlife Garden of the Museum have been seen on multiple occasions.

It would be best if you could avoid stepping on any wandering grownups. Move them possibly into some vegetation where they will be safe from cats, vehicles, and careless feet.

Stag beetles are so named because the males have large antlers, which they utilize to compete with one another for the affection of the females. The males with the largest antlers almost always emerge victorious.

There are three different species of stag beetle in the UK. The lesser stag beetle, also known as Dorcus parallelipipedus, is the most frequent species. Its jaws are much more petite.

15. Scarlet Lily Beetle

The head and legs of the scarlet lily beetle (Lilioceris lilii) are black, and the insect’s body is crimson. It measures 8mm in length.

Because both the adults and the larvae of the scarlet lily beetle feed on lilies and fritillary flowers, gardeners typically view them as a nuisance pest.

This plant is not native to Britain or Ireland but has since become very common there.

On the undersides of leaves, the scarlet lily beetle lays its eggs, which are bright reddish-orange and shaped like sausages.

The newly hatched larvae have black heads and reddish-brown bodies, but they tend to hide under their own black feces(frass.)

The adult beetles spend the winter away from the lily plants, hibernating in the soil, under the leaf litter, and in other protected locations.

These types of beetles in the UK emerge at the end of March or the beginning of April when they begin looking for their host plants.

16. Thick-legged Flower Beetle

Up to 10 millimeters in length, the thick-legged flower beetle (Oedemera nobilis) is a brilliant metallic green color.

This unique beetle species is also known as the swollen-thighed beetle because of the huge bulges found on the males’ femora or thighs.

Gardens, flower meadows, and waste ground are good places to look for thick-legged flower beetles between the months of April and September.

They can be found throughout a large portion of the world, from The Wash and North Wales all the way down to southern England.

These types of beetles in the UK will wander from bloom to flower, eating on the pollen of large open flowers such as poppies, roses, cornflowers, and ox-eye daisies. They are great pollinators, just like many other species of beetle.

17. Spotted Longhorn Beetle

The spotted longhorn beetle (Rutpela maculata) ranges in length from 13-20 mm and is yellow in color with black spots and stripes.

The spotted longhorn beetle also provides pollination services. It is possible to spot it sipping nectar from the fragrant blooms of carrot, celery, and parsley during the summer.

The larvae reside on deciduous trees like oak, hazel, hornbeam, and willow, typically in dead wood that has fallen off the trees.

The spotted longhorn beetle is widespread and frequent in England and Wales but is somewhat less common in northern regions.

18. Case-bearing Leaf Beetle

Case-bearing leaf beetles are beetles that cause leaves to wilt and die by laying their eggs inside the leaves and stems of the plant they feed on.

These types of beetles in the UK can thrive on various plants, including tobacco and tomato. While they are within the plant, the larvae, which are the earlier stage of the insect, will eat away at it.

After reaching the adult stage, known as the pupa stage, they will emerge from their casing, leaving a hole in the Leaf.

Adult Case-bearing Leaf beetles often feed on flowers or leaves when found in the wild.

On the other hand, if you find any cases or larvae on your plants, you should not be afraid to remove them with your fingers or a trowel.

19. Cedar Beetle

A beetle species have been modified to live on cedar trees called a cedar beetle. They are brown with a black head and range in length from about a quarter of an inch to half an inch.

They consume the needles and leaves, leaving just the bark remaining after they have finished feeding.

In addition, the larvae will feed on the roots of the tree, which will cause the tree to become weakened and more prone to attack from other types of insects and illnesses.

In most cases, cedar bugs cannot kill cedar trees alone. However, this can make them more susceptible to death when attacked by a different bug or disease.

20. Cottonwood Borer Beetle

Belonging to the genus Plectrodera, the Cottonwood Borer Beetle (Plectrodera scalator) is a beetle widespread in the UK.

According to the available documentation, cottonwood trees in eastern Oregon and eastern Washington are home to this species.

These types of beetles in the UK are a nuisance because of the damage they cause to cottonwood trees.

Cottonwood trees are important because they provide food and habitat for many different kinds of species.

In addition, the beetles will deposit their eggs on the bark close to any minor wounds or fissures. The eggs will develop into larvae that will tunnel into the tree’s vascular system.

After years, the larvae will eventually result in the complete demise of the tree by sucking out all of the sap that gives it life.

It is no news that the Cottonwood Borer Beetle is among the most aggressively invasive species.

21. Drugstore Beetle

At one point in history, the drugstore beetle was a huge problem that plagued cereal and grain goods in storage facilities worldwide.

Because of the development of improved storage methods, the drugstore beetle is a nuisance that is no longer commonly encountered or discovered as often.

One of the kinds of beetles you may find in the UK is the drugstore beetle, whose length is much smaller than two-tenths of an inch.

In addition, the markings on their backs are white, while the rest of their bodies are dark brown.

At night, these beetles frequently assemble in close proximity to bright sources of light, such as windows and lamps, which makes it easier to spot them.

Cereals, flour, dried fruit, grains, beans, and nuts are some of the foods that drugstore beetles eat.

They do this while still in the package or within boxes or containers, where they cannot leave to obtain nourishment elsewhere.

22. Dung Beetle

The dung beetles (Dichotomius spp.) play a significant role in maintaining the ecosystem’s health.

They are some of the animals that consume waste, which helps to keep diseases at bay and encourages the growth of plants.

You can discover dung beetles in a wide variety of environments. However, they favor open places with a scant flora cover, such as fields, pastures, and meadows.

This beetle has a brownish-yellow spot pattern on its wing cases, which contrasts with its black head.

In addition, there is a little brown mark on its back close to the top of its thorax. The antennae are brown or black, and they round off our list of types of beetles in the UK!

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like