Elateridae of the British Isles

Ampedus cinnabarinus (Eschscholtz, 1829)

Size – 11-15mm.

Description – The head and pronotum are black with a visible covering of lighter brown hairs. The eltyra are uniformly red and show distinct rows of pits longitudinally. The legs and antennae are black, with a slight lightening towards the tips of the tarsi. The antennae extend beyond the posterior edge of the pronotum.

National Biodiversity Network map showing the distribution of Ampedus cinnabarinus across Britain and Ireland.

British and Irish distribution of Ampedus cinnabarinus (Eschscholtz, 1829) based on records held by the National Biodiversity Network.

Distribution data supplied by:

  • Countryside Council for Wales
  • Natural England
  • Devon Biodiversity Records Centre
  • Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre

Distribution – Small populations in Hampshire/West Sussex and south Wales/Gloucestershire. Isolated records from London, Nottinghamshire and Devon.

Biology – The predatory larvae are mainly associated with dead heartwood of Oak (Quercus rober), but do utilise other broadleaved species and can also be found developing under bark. They feed on the larvae of Dorcus parallelipipedus (Coleoptera: Lucanidae) as well as other invertebrate larvae. They pupate and eclose in the autumn, with the imago overwintering in the pupal case.