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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!

20 November, 2015

Fairy-ring Longhorn Beetle: a chance encounter

Have you ever seen a ring of toadstools on grass in the autumn? Commonly known as fairy rings they are formed by the fruiting body of the champignon fungus. The main part of the fungus is at work in the ground dissolving vegetable matter but what has that to do with this beetle?
I love to look closely at bramble flowers in summer, you never know quite what you might find and this chance encounter with a small beetle I did not recognise was to reveal one of the most remarkable associations between species that I have come across. This beetle is known as the fairy-ring longhorn (Pseudovadonia livida) because although the adult beetle lives most of its life nectaring on flowers, its larvae a thrive in soil infested by the fairy-ring champignon fungus! I know some insects are dependent on other insects but an insect dependant on a fungus must surely be unique to this species?
Widespread in southern England but not that common it can be found from May until September. Given fairy rings

Read more: Fairy-ring Longhorn Beetle: a chance encounter