Elateridae of the British Isles

Athous subfuscus (Muller, O.F., 1764)

Size  – 8.5mm.

Description – The pronotum is a dark brown colour and the elytra dark red. The eltyra are ridged down their length and pitted all over. There is a fine covering of hairs. The legs are a uniformly red colour and the antennae are relatively long, extending past the rear of the pronotum.

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

British and Irish distribution of Athous (Exanathrotus) subfuscus (MÁller, O.F., 1764) based on records held by the National Biodiversity Network.

Distribution data supplied by:

  • Natural England

Distribution – Known only from a handful of records in Surrey.

Biology – It is thought that the larvae are omnivorous, feeding on the roots and seedlings of a range of plant species and also on the larvae of other invertebrates including Coleoptera and Lepidoptera. Pupation occurs in July and August with the imago insect emerging the following May, being present until the end of June or July. They can be found resting on grass stems and low growing herbaceous plants, but more frequently by beating the foliage of a range of broadleaved tree species including Beech (Fagus sylvatica), Oak (Quercus spp.), Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), Elm (Ulmus spp.), Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), Hazel (Corylus avellana) and Alder (Alnus glutinosa), as well as many species of conifer.

Habitat – Broadleaved and mixed woodland.

Photo by K.V. Makarov courtesy of www.zin.ru/Animalia/Coleoptera