Elateridae of the British Isles

Ampedus tristis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Size – 7-8.5mm.

Description – A small Ampedus, with a black head and pronotum. The elytra are predominantly black, with yellow outer edges, extending almost to the tips and two inverse triangular shaped yellow markings at the anterior edge of the elytra, extending just under a third of the way down. Longitudinal rows of pits are obvious down the elytra length. The legs are dark, with brown areas on all segments, but most distinctly the tarsi. The antennae are black and extend to the posterior edge of the pronotum.

Distribution – A handful of isolated and historic records from central Scotland.

Biology – The predatory larvae occur in rotted heartwood of fallen Pines (Pinus spp.). The larval stage thought to be 3-6 years long, with the insect pupating and eclosing in the autumn and the imago overwintering in the pupal case. 

Habitat – Ancient Caledonian pine forest.