Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Dermestid Beetle, Megatoma undata

Megatoma undata - Shelford Notts 1st May 2013 
For those of you that follow this blog the name Trent Valley Beetles may be becoming something of a misnomer, with the majority of my articles talking about anything but beetles.  However a trip to one of my favourite patches along the Trent at Shelford led to me finding the Dermestid beetle Megatoma undata.  The start of the walk consisted of releasing two lambs who had stuck their heads through a wire mesh fence to feed on the longer grass on the other side.  My initial attempts were not helped by the lambs jumping even harder into the fence, it wasn't until they had settled that I could loosen the wire to free them. Anyway back to the beetle Megatoma is a widespread but quite local beetle throughout England. Running to about 10mm, although I've never seen one much bigger than about 5mm they are most commonly found behind peeling bark in the vicinity of spiders webs or old spider nests.  Here the larva are thought to feed on the insect remains left by the feasting spider.  In some publications it is said to be found sitting on old posts, which is where the beast in the photograph was photographed was found. Didn't see a lot else, couple of nice bees, Andrena haemorrhoea, Andrena cineraria and the tawny mining bee Andrena fulva, all three are beautiful in colour and a joy to see. I attach a photograph of A. fulva sunning on the same post as megatoma
Tawny Mining Bee - Shelford 1st May 2013. 

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