Glen Parva & Glenhills Nature Reserve - Species List

Key to the list at the end of each section:
Black - Bio Blitz 2015 not photographed
Blue - Bio Blitz 2015 photographed
Red - photographed & identified by Volunteers
Green - from NatureSpot
All pictures are taken on the reserve.
Hover over the following pictures to enlarge


Beetles, the order Coleoptera, are the largest group of insects. There are 350,000 different species of beetles which have been named: about 40% of all known insects. There are an estimated 800,000 to a million living species.

Beetles live almost everywhere, though not in the ocean or in places that are very cold, such as Antarctica.
Beetles went through a massive adaptive radiation early in their evolutionary history. The evolution of flowering plants helped drive the diversification of beetles. Four of the six biggest families of beetles mainly eat flowering plants.

7 Spot Ladybird - Coccinella septempunctata
John F July 2017

Its elytra are of a red colour, but punctuated with three black spots each, with one further spot being spread over the junction of the two, making a total of seven spots, from which the species derives both its common and scientific names from the Latin septem = "seven" and punctus = "spot".
In the United Kingdom, there are fears that the seven-spot ladybird is being outcompeted for food by the harlequin ladybird.
The species can secrete a fluid from joints in their legs which gives them a foul taste. A threatened ladybug may both play dead and secrete the unappetising substance to protect itself.
Black Clock Beetle - Pterostichus madidus
John F 23rd March 2021

This beetle belongs to the Ground Beetle family (Carabidae). Most members of the family have lost the ability to fly because they are better hunters when on foot!
They're mainly meat-eaters, their favourites being slugs and snails. Nonetheless, these beetles are partial to all kinds of insects if available. They may have a cheeky nibble from garden fruits which lay low to the ground, too.
You will find these shiny beetles hiding beneath stones, loose bark and grass tussocks in the daytime.

Common Cardinal beetle - Pyrochroa serraticornis
Sue H 20140701

The Red-headed or 'Common' Cardinal beetle is a red to orange beetle with, as the name suggests, a red head. It is approximately 20mm long and found throughout Britain. The rarer Black-headed Cardinal beetle, similarly found at sites across Britain, is larger and a deeper blood red.
Cardinal beetles prey on other insects while their bright red colour prevents them being the target of other predators which believe them to be toxic.
They bask for long periods on large leaves often near water – the Grand Union Canal being one particular hotspot.
Devil's Coach Horse - Staphylinus olens
John F

These aggressive, carniverous predators are commonly found across the UK and Europe in a variety of habitats. The Devil’s Coach Horse can sometimes be mistaken for an earwig but when threatened its scorpion-like posture will give the game away! The Devil’s Coach Horse belongs to the Rove Beetle family, called the Staphylinidae which are sometimes referred to as the ‘Staphs’ for short.
It is the largest of the rove beetles and can reach a length of around 28mm. Typical to this family, the Devil’s Coach Horse is a long-bodied, uniformly black beetle with an extended exposed powerful abdomen with shortened wing cases (elytra). Although able to fly its wings are rarely used.
Sadly it lost part of it's tail while we were creating a wildflower patch Sept 2016.

Harlequin Ladybird - Harmonia axyridis
John F Oct 2016

This is one of the most variable species in the world, with an exceptionally wide range of color forms. It is native to eastern Asia, but has been artificially introduced to North America and Europe to control aphids and scale insects. It is now common, well known, and spreading in those regions, and has also established in South Africa and widely across South America.
This species is conspicuous in North America where it may locally be known as the Halloween ladybeetle. It earns this name as it often invades homes during October, in order to prepare for overwintering. In Japan, it is not generally distinguished from the seven-spot ladybird which is also common there.

The larva left and the pupa below of the harlequin ladybird.

Red Soldier Beetle - Rhagonycha fulva
Sue & Roy 20140707

The common red soldier beetle will grow up to a centimetre. Nearly all their body is coloured red yellowish. Only the last bit of the elytra is black. The body is flat and elongated. The chitin armour is very soft, resulting in the German name of this species as Weichkäfer (meaning "soft beetle"). The black thread-like antennae are also relatively long. The equally long legs have an orange colour, which become notably darker only at the end.
These beetles are active during the daylight hours, when they will hunt mostly for small insects on top of flowers.
Reed Beetles - Donacia semicuprea
Sue H

The typical habitat is still and slow-moving water where the host plants, Phragmites (reeds) and Typha (rushes) occur. Adults occur year-round and are active from March until late in the year, generally into November, they are most common during late spring and early summer when mating pairs are commonly seen, and they are active in warm weather and take flight or drop to the water when disturbed, during cold spells or rain they tend to remain on stems low down near the water and are difficult to detect.

Swollen-thighed Beetle - Oedemera nobilis
John F June 2017

This beetle is often known by other names including the thick-legged flower beetle and the false oil beetle.
It is a pollinator of many open-structured flowers including cow parsley, ox-eye daisy and ­­­ bramble. The adults can be seen from April to September but the larvae are well concealed within the dry stems of plants where they feed and grow before emerging to become adults. These beetles are most frequently spotted in bright sunlight on flower heads on warm to hot days.

Thick-legged Flower Beetle - Ischnomera cyanea
John F July 2017

This beetle is about 12 mm long with bright iridescent blue/green elytra (wing cases), which sometimes gape to expose the body or wings. The top sections of its back legs are quite swollen.
Adults are found on many flowers including those of Hogweed and Hawthorn, often near hedgerows or wooded areas.

Wasp Beetle - Clytus arietis
John F June 2017

The Wasp Beetle is a small, narrow-bodied longhorn beetle. The larvae live in warm, dry, dead wood, such as fence posts and dead branches, and particularly favour willow and birch. The adults can be found feeding on flowers along woodland rides and hedgerows during the summer. The Wasp Beetle lives up to its name by mimicking the Common Wasp in both colouration and in its behaviour, moving in a jerky fashion similar to a wasp's flight. This mimicry keeps it safe from predators, even though it is actually harmless.

Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

22-spot Ladybird - Psyllobora 22-punctata

7 Spot Ladybird - Coccinella septempunctata
Black Clock Beetle - Pterostichus madidus
Cardinal Beetle - Pyrochroa serraticornis
Devil's Coach Horse - Staphylinus olens
Great Diving Beetle - Dytiscus marginalis
Harlequin Ladybird - Harmonia axyridis
Reed Beetle - Donacia semicuprea
Soldier Beetle - Rhagonycha fulva
Swollen-thighed Beetle - Oedemera nobilis
Thick-legged Flower Beetle - Ischnomera cyanea
Wasp Beetle - Clytus arietis

Cantharis flavilabris
Cantharis rufa
Galerucella sagittariae
Hypera rumicis

Leistus ferrugineus
Leistus fulvibarbis
Leistus spinibarbis
Nebria brevicollis
Notiophilus biguttatus
Oedemera lurida
Parethelcus pollinarius
Pterostichus niger
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