Lagria hirta (Linnaeus, 1758)

Female
Locally common throughout England with records also from s.w. and n.e. Scotland. Adults feed on pollen and nectar of 'open' flowers e.g. Yarrow or umbels. Larvae are detritovores in leaf litter and turf. Around Watford adults first appear towards the end of June and are soon very common, being found by sweeping long grass or low shrubs in just about any habitat. In bright sunshine they are often seen on flowers, especially umbels. Perhaps easiest found around the town centre where they rest on walls, sometimes in small numbers, during the morning. Towards the end of August they are less active, being found under leaves in shrub beds and other shaded places, appearing again in September for a short while. They fly readily.

7-9mm. Very distinctive although at first glance might be mistaken for a member of the Cantharidae but the Heteromerus tarsal formula , 5-5-4, renders the insect unmistakable. Head and thorax black with long yellow pubescence, coarsely punctate throughout, head more densly so. Elytra light brown and closely punctured, appearing golden due to dense long yellow pubescence. Appendages black, pubescent throughout. Eyes deeply excised, much larger in the male. Terminal antennal segment very long in male, twice as long as 10 in female.

Note: The other British species, L. atripes (Muls. &Guil.), is larger, with the thorax very sparsely punctate and has the elytral pubescence aranged in a herring-bone pattern. Very local, s.e. Kent.

Description from 2 Watford specimens at X20


Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

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