Red Bycid from UK: Pyrrhidium sanguinium

Subject: Red bug UK
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
March 27, 2016 6:22 am
This was found this week in my house in the north east of the UK. Newcastle upon Tyne. It was about a centimetre in length.
I’d love to know what it is 🙂
Signature: Katie

Unknown Red Bycid we believe
Red Bycid is Welsh Oak Longhorn Beetle

Dear Katie,
Your request has us stumped.  Our initial impression remains that this is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, however we could not locate any matching images on the sites Nature Spot, the Website of the Watford Coleoptera Group or Eakring Birds.  Longhorned Borer Beetles and Leaf Beetles are grouped together taxonomically into the superfamily Chrysomeloidea, which means they share some physical similarities, and there is a red Lily Leaf Beetle that looks similar to your individual, however, the antennae in your images look more like the antennae of a member of the family Cerambycidae than of a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae.  Information on the Lily Leaf Beetle can be found on The Telegraph.  We really don’t believe you have submitted an image of a Lily Leaf Beetle, but that is a possibility.  We are leaning toward this being a Longhorned Borer Beetle or Bycid, and we hope to have a conclusive ID for you soon.  Perhaps our readership will be able to assist us.

Update:  March 27, 2016
Upon receiving a comment that this is a rare Cerambycid,
Pyrrhidium sanguinium, we located an Encyclopedia of Life posting indicating the common name is the Welsh Oak Longhorn Beetle.  The description on Forest Pests is:  “7-12 mm. Holomediterranean, common in broad-leaved forests. The main foodplant is oak. Larvae develop under the bark, and pupate in the heartwood, where the pupae overwinter. Adults fly in April and May.”  According to iNaturalist:  “larva of Pyrrhidium sanguineum feeds within dead surface sapwood (stump) of Quercus.”  The most information we located quickly is on the Worcestershire Record where it states:  “LITERALLY COMING OUT OF THE WOODWORK  Roger Umpelby
This small (6-15mm long) bright red species seems to be establishing itself across the county with the latest record coming from the south-eastern corner of the county in Ashton-under-Hill in April 2009. As with several previous records the beetles emerged from cut logs both inside and outside. The original source of the logs is not known, but the timber had been stored in the wood yard in the village for well over a year, and since the beetle has a one-year life cycle, it must be established and breeding here. Previous county records are from March 2006 at Defford, Wyre Forest in 2008 and Drakes Broughton in May 2008.
This species is distributed throughout Europe and North Africa and into the Middle East. In central Europe it is one of the commonest longhorn beetles, but in the UK it is rare (RDB2). The larvae feed under bark of dead branches and trunks but, unlike some other longhorn species, eggs are readily laid in newly cut timber. Although oak is the favoured host, other deciduous trees are also hosts.
Sadly like other red beetles in the UK it frequently suffers from ‘mistaken identity’, as most gardeners assume any all-red beetle is a lily beetle
Lilioceris lilii and kill them.”

Hi Daniel
How interesting! It could have come from the cut timber we bought for firewood I guess! I’ll keep an eye out for more. Thank you for letting me know 🙂

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