Location: Brittany, Northern France
August 14, 2010 10:42 am
This bug crawled out of a woodpile. The nearest I can get to it with my identification book is the cardinal beetle, pyrochroa occinea, but this one has orange lower legs and the wing covers (elytra) are a different shape.
Thanks for your help!
Permaculture in Brittany
Dear Permaculture in Brittany,
We were not familiar with the Cardinal Beetle, so we researched it. It is a Fire Colored Beetle in the family Pyrochroidae. Your beetle is a Longhorned Borer Beetle or Longicorn in the Family Cerambycidae. We located a website of Longicorns from France, and we believe your beetle is Corymbia rubra. The following information is provided in the Lepturinae subfamily page: “Vit sur troncs abattus de conifères, saules et fleurs, visible d’Avril à Juillet La femelle est plus grande que le mâle qui a un pronotum noir Larves dans les troncs de conifères morts Tribue des Lepturini” but alas, we do not speak French, but perhaps our website’s translation feature will crack the code. The Garden Safari website discusses the sexual dimorphism of the species, and that indicates the coloration of your specimen makes her female. The Garden Safari indicates: “With the majority of beetle species the male and the female are almost identical. In a few exceptions, however, there are striking differences between the two genders. This is the case with Corymbia rubra, a species quite common on flowers in the gardens. The male is slender, brownish and has a black neck shield. It seldomly reaches a length of over 15 mm. The female is bigger and more plump, reaching some 20 mm in length regularly. Her body is reddish, including the neck shield. Actually they do look like two completely different species! This particular species is very rare in the UK because the plants the larvae feed on are not indigenous in Britain. It is still often referred to by either of its former scientific names Leptura rubra or Stictoleptura rubra.”
Very many thanks for your comprehensive reply, Daniel. I’ve posted your help on our blog http://permacultureinbrittany.blogspot.com/ . I’m getting more interested in beetles, especially dung beetles with regard to pasture improvement, so shall keep visiting your site but not bothering you too often with questions. I might treat myself to your book when it’s published too.
Stuart and Gabrielle
Hi Stuart and Gabrielle,
We peeked at your blog, and your grounds made us a bit envious as it compares to our own tiny plot in Los Angeles with its three young chickens (anticipating the first eggs), vegetable patch and compost pile.