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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!

16 September, 2015

Leaf Beetle: Cryptocephsalus aureolus

This beetle may have a big, big name, Cryptocephsalus aureolus but it is a tiny insect, just 5mm or so long. As a result, although common it is frequently overlooked as it lives its life on flowers, usually the yellow flowers of the hawkweed family (like dandelions). They are a wonderful metallic green colour and it takes a close-up lens to really bring the best out of this little chap. 
This is one of a large range of species collectively known as leaf beetles because they are vegetarian and feed on plants, many beetles are carnivores feeding on other insects or scarabs feeding on carrion. Not all leaf beetles are metallic green but there are some similar species to this one which are far less common. In fact, I cannot be absolutely sure this is Cryptocephsalus aureolus and not one of its close relatives;

Read more: Leaf Beetle: Cryptocephsalus aureolus