Elateridae of the British Isles

Athous bicolor (Goeze, 1777)

Size – 8-10mm.

Description – Quite an elongated species. The elytra are an ochre/yellow colour with obvious ridges and pits running down their length. The pronotum is slightly darker. The hairs are very similar in colour to the elytra. The legs and antennae are unicolourous with the rest of the insect and the antennae are very long, extending far beyind the posterior edge of the pronotum.

National Biodiversity Network map showing the distribution of Athous (Orthathous) bicolor across Britain and Ireland.

British and Irish distribution of Athous (Orthathous) bicolor (Goeze, 1777) based on records held by the National Biodiversity Network.

Distribution data supplied by:

  • Dorset Environmental Records Centre
  • National Trust
  • Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • Countryside Council for Wales
  • Natural England
  • Leicestershire Environmental Resources Centre
  • Greenspace Information for Greater London
  • Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre
  • Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Distribution – Widespread and rather common in Wales and England up to East Yorkshire. One or two isolated and historical records from central Scotland.

Biology – The larvae develops underground, feeding on the roots of a range of grass species.┬áImago insects appear from June to July and August and can be found resting on grass stems and flowers of Umbellifers in the afternoon until dusk and by beating branches of Oak (Quercus spp.), Willow (Salix spp.) and a range of shrub species. Male insects fly during the evening, with the females more commonly found under stones and on low growing herbaceous plants.

Habitat – Grasslands.