Elateridae of the British Isles

Ampedus rufipennis (Stephens, 1830)

Size – 9-12mm.

Description – Pronotum and head black, with red elytra that show two slightly darker spots towards the anterior centre of the elytra. Longitudinal rows of pits are obvious down the length of the elytra and dense, scattered pits are visible on the pronotum. A covering of distinctly long black hairs is obvious over the extent of the body. The legs are black, omly lightening towards the apices of the tarsi. The black coloured antennae are more strongly segmented than many other Ampedus and are long, extending a way beyond the posterior edge of the pronotum.

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

British and Irish distribution of Ampedus rufipennis (Stephens, 1830) based on records held by the National Biodiversity Network.

Distribution data supplied by:

  • Countryside Council for Wales
  • Natural England

Distribution – Scattered records from Kent, Hampshire, London and Oxfordshire, with most coming from the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire/Herefordshire area.

Biology – Larvae are associated with Ash (Fraxinus excelsior), Beech (Fagus sylvatica) and Elm (Ulmus spp.), where they occur in soft decayed heartwood of fallen and standing trunks and branches. Not commonly found in stumps. They pupate and eclose in the autumn, with the imago spending the winter in the pupal case. Imagos are attracted to feed on Hawthorn (Cratageus spp.) flowers.