Elateridae of the British Isles

Adrastus pallens (Fabricius, 1793)

Size – 4-5.5mm.

Description – One of the smallest of the British Elaterids. The elytra, legs and antennae are orange/yellow, with a darker orange stripe down the centre of the elytra. The pronotum and head are black with a noticeable covering of lighter hairs. Pits are visible in rows running the length of the elytra. The antennae are very long, extending a way beyond the posterior edge of the pronotum.

National Biodiversity Network map showing the distribution of Adrastus pallens across Britain and Ireland.

British and Irish distribution of Adrastus pallens (Fabricius, 1792) based on records held by the National Biodiversity Network.

Distribution data supplied by:

  • National Trust
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • Countryside Council for Wales
  • Lothian Wildlife Information Centre
  • Countryside Council for Wales
  • Natural England
  • Leicestershire Environmental Resources Centre
  • Greenspace Information for Greater London

Distribution – Widespread but uncommon in England. Scattered records in Wales and Scotland.

Biology – Imagos emerge in May and are presentĀ until June or July. They can be found by beating various tree species, particularly Willow (Salix spp.) and Alder (Alnus glutinosa) and resting on low growing herbaceous plants in late afternoon or evening.

Habitat – Primarily wetland habitats including wet meadows, stream edges andĀ fens, but also hedgerows and rough grasslands.

Photo by K.V. Makarov courtesy of www.zin.ru/Animalia/Coleoptera