Beetle (Bloody-nosed Leaf)
The Bloody-nosed Beetle is a small black insect that can be found throughout England, although it is quite rare in the north. It can often be found on grasslands and heathlands and in roadside hedgerows. It has its name ‘Bloody-nosed’ because it can create a drop of bright red fluid from its mouth when it feels threatened. The fluid is quite foul-tasting which stops some predators from attacking it.
The Bloody-nosed Beetle is around two centimetres long and has a large black dome-shaped body which has a purplish sheen to it. It has no wings so it can’t fly, but it has wing cases called 'elytra'. The elytra are fused together and the fused line can be seen running down the middle of the beetle’s back. The Bloody-nosed Beetle has two long antennae on the front of its head which are used to find food. It also has six pairs of legs and this beetle tends to walk very slowly.
Bloody-nosed Leaf Beetles are the largest leaf beetles in England and are mainly active at night. They eat the leaves of bedstraw plants such as cleaver and lady’s bedstraw. The larvae of these beetles are a greenish black colour and can be seen hanging from the leaves of bedstraw plants.