Green Beetle from UK

2022 August 28

Here’s another beetle from when Sandy and the girls went to the UK to walk in the Cotswolds. They photographed it on June 22, 2022. It’s standing on the palm of Sam’s hand, near her wrist, and I estimate the beetle is probably between 3/4 inch and 1 inch long.

Here’s a closer look:

A search for “green beetle UK” turned up what it was right away. It is a female Swollen-Thighed Beetle, Oedemera_nobilis. We can tell it is a female, because the males have greatly enlarged thighs on their hind legs, and this one definitely does not have big thighs.

Wikipedia says that the only beetle this one could reasonably confused with does not live in England, so I think this is a pretty positive ID. This is also a new beetle family for this site. They are in the family Oedemeridae, or false blister beetles.

The range map shows that the southern UK is the extreme northern part of the range of this beetle, and they are quite common in southern Europe in general. The adults hang out in flowers in the spring and early summer, which is exactly what this one was doing. It says the larvae “develop on dry stems of Spartium (or Spanish Broom) and Cirsium (a genus of thistles)”. Neither of these are particularly popular crops or garden plants, and in fact they are both likely to be considered weeds. And on top of that, the larvae apparently don’t even feed on the plants until after they die. So this is another one of those beetles that nobody hates, and if it wasn’t for them being fairly large and vibrantly green as adults, probably not many people would even notice them.

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