Myrmecophiles and fails

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday 12 June 2014 19:54

This is the spectacular Clytra quadripunctata, a beetle I have wanted to see for many years. Like the Scarce Seven-spot Ladybird, it's a myrmecophile and we did indeed sweep it from near Formica rufa nests. Flatropers Wood is a great site for invertebrates but my grass traps were a total failure. They completely vanished! What was I doing wrong?!

Today we saw three individual jewel beetles of two species (one Agrilus as yet unidentified) and this stonking Agrilus biguttatus that I caught in a rather unconventional way. I could see something big flying back and forth around my head in an elliptical orbit but I couldn't get anywhere near it as it zoomed in and out. I stood still and swung my net around like a mentalist and after a few seconds, the beetle was in the net! What a cracking beast! I have seen this twice in Chiddingfold Forest and once in the New Forest and I have always netted them in flight or watched them land on me! Anyways, better get back to the microscope!

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