Elateridae of the British Isles

Agrypnus murinus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Size – 10-17mm

Description - Brown or grey in colour with scattered lighter patches and a very noticeable covering of hairs. The elytra and pronotum have a very broad appearence and the antennae are often only as long as the pronotum. Legs are dark brown, getting lighter on the tarsi.

National Biodiversity Network map showing the distribution of Agrypnus murinus across Britain and Ireland.

British and Irish distribution of Agrypnus murinus (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
  • Merseyside BioBank
  • Countryside Council for Wales
  • Highland Biological Recording Group
  • Devon Biodiversity Records Centre
  • Countryside Council for Wales
  • Natural England
  • Leicestershire Environmental Resources Centre

Distribution – A predominently coastal species occuring in many areas south of Cheshire in the west and Lincolnshire in the east. Only scattered records occur north of this. The Welsh coast and south coast of England appear to be strongholds for this species.

Biology – The larvae develop underground in soil, feeding on the roots of a variety of grass species and sometimes young Oak (Quercus rober). In some countries they are considered a pest of pastures used for grazing livestock. The adults are one of the earliest species to emerge, in late-April to early-May and are most conspicuous when flying in late-afternoon.

Habitat – Predominantly a species of coastal grasslands in the UK, also occurring inland in suitable grassland habitats such as meadows, parks or gardens.

Agrypnus murinus

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