Elateridae of the British Isles

Agriotes obscurus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Size – 7-10mm.

Description – Very similar to A. lineatus. A uniform mid-brown coloured species with a very dense covering of lighter brown/cream hairs. The pronotum and elytra appear rounded. Rows of pits form ridges down the length of the elytra that appear in ‘pairs’ and are a darker brown colour to the rest of the elytra. The legs and antennae are slightly darker brown than the rest of the insect. The antennae are slightly longer than the length of the head and pronotum.

National Biodiversity Network map showing the distribution of Agriotes obscurus across Britain and Ireland.

British and Irish distribution of Agriotes obscurus (Linnaeus, 1758) based on records held by the National Biodiversity Network.

Distribution data supplied by:

  • Dorset Environmental Records Centre
  • National Trust
  • Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • Merseyside BioBank
  • Lothian Wildlife Information Centre
  • Merseyside BioBank
  • Countryside Council for Wales
  • Highland Biological Recording Group
  • Greenspace Information for Greater London
  • North East Scotland Biological Records Centre
  • Countryside Council for Wales
  • Balfour-Browne Club
  • Natural England
  • Leicestershire Environmental Resources Centre
  • National Trust for Scotland (staff)
  • Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre
  • Staffordshire Ecological Record
  • Staffordshire Ecological Record

Distribution – Much commoner than A. lineatus, being widely distributed and common throughout England and Wales. Less frequent in Scotland.