Elateridae of the British Isles

Ampedus quercicola (du Buysson, 1887)

Size – 9-11mm.

Description – Black head and pronotum with bright red elytra, patterned in a slightly darker red. Longitudinal rows of pits are visible running the length of the elytra and densely scattered pits are obvious on the pronotum. The body is covered with a dense covering of black hairs which are noticeably longer than in most Elaterids. The legs are black, lightening towards the tips of the tarsi. The antennae are black and extend to the posterior edge of the pronotum.

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

British and Irish distribution of Ampedus quercicola (du Buysson, 1887) based on records held by the National Biodiversity Network.

Distribution data supplied by:

  • Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre
  • Natural England
  • Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre

Distribution – Two isolated population strongholds are apparent around the Lincolnshire/Cambridgeshire border and in Hampshire. Other scattered records from London, south Wales and Somerset.

Biology – Larvae are primarily associated with Birch (Betula spp.), Beech (Fagus sylvatica) and Hawthorn (Cratageus spp.), where they develop in rotten heartwood. Associations with other tree species are probable. Pupation occurs in autumn and the insect ecloses to overwinter as an imago within the pupa. Upon emergence the imagos can be recorded feeding at Hawthorn flowers.

Habitat – Ancient woodland pastures.