Elateridae of the British Isles

Stenagostus rhombeus (Olivier, 1790)

Size – 14-21mm.

Description – Larger specimens of this species are among biggest Elaterids in Britain. Quite an elongated species that is predominantly an orange/brown colour over the head, pronotum and elytra. Approximately half way down the elytra there is a slightly darker crossline curving towards the pronotum, with another crossline further towards the posterior of the elytra curving down towards the tips. The legs and antenae are uniformly orange/brown, with the antennae extending

National Biodiversity Network map showing the distribution of Stenagostus rhombeus across Britain and Ireland.

British and Irish distribution of Stenagostus rhombeus (Olivier, 1790) based on records held by the National Biodiversity Network.

Distribution data supplied by:

  • Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • Countryside Council for Wales
  • Merseyside BioBank
  • Natural England
  • Leicestershire Environmental Resources Centre
  • Greenspace Information for Greater London
  • Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre
  • Staffordshire Ecological Record

Distribution – Fairly common in southern England and the Midlands north to West Yorkshire. Scattered records in Wales, absent from Scotland.

Biology – The larvae are associated predominantly with Beech (Fagus sylvatica), but are reported from a number of other broadleaved species. They occur under loose bark of dead trees and sometimes in the wood layers just beneath. They are predatory feeding on the larvae of Longhorn Beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Two, possibly more summers are spent in the larval stage, with pupation occurring in the spring. Imagos are crepuscular and nocturnal and are attracted to light.

Habitat – Broadleaved woodland.