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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

11 September, 2015

Lagria hirta: a darkling beetle | Nature Notes from Dorset

This small beetle is one of the family Tenebrionidae which are known as darkling beetles, so named as nearly all of the species in the family are dark brown or black. Lagria hirta has a black head, body and legs but the wing cases (the elytra) are a lovely copper brown, the exact colour tends to vary with the light as it has an almost metallic finish. It is also a rather hairy insect and 'hirta' comes loosely from the Latin for hairy.
This is a common species in mid-summer and can be frequently found on flower heads, especially bramble flowers, in dry habitats. Eggs are laid in the soil and the hatching larvae then feed in the decaying leaf matter underneath the flower or shrub, pupating in autumn and overwintering in that state until emerging as an adult in May or June.

Read more: Lagria hirta: a darkling beetle | Nature Notes from Dorset