Elateridae of the British Isles

Ampedus sanguinolentus (Schrank, 1776)

Size – 10-12mm.

Description – The head and pronotum are black, with a covering of fine, brown hairs visible. The pronotum shows dense, scattered pits. The elytra are predominantly red, with a varying extent of black in the centre. In some specimens this is no more than a ’streak’ running down the centre of the elytra, starting around a third of the way down and finishing around two thirds of the way down. In others, the black can extend down most of the length of the elytra and just over half way across. Longitudinal rows of pits are visible on the elytra. The legs are black, lightening on the tarsi and the antennae are black, extending to the posterior edge of the pronotum.

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

British and Irish distribution of Ampedus sanguinolentus (Schrank, 1776) based on records held by the National Biodiversity Network.

Distribution data supplied by:

  • Dorset Environmental Records Centre
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • Balfour-Browne Club
  • Natural England
  • Leicestershire Environmental Resources Centre

Distribution – Rare, with the population stronghold in Hampshire and Surrey. Isolated records from London, Somerset and Lincolnshire.

Biology – Larvae occur in the dead, decayed stumps of Birch (Betula spp.). They pupate and eclose in autumn and the imago overwinters inside the pupal case.

Habitat – Woodlands and heathlands with suitable host plant on acid soils.