Weird beetles

Weird beetles!

© John Bridges

Check out the 5 strangest beetles you might encounter in the UK
oil beetle

© Barry Watts

1 - Black oil beetle
It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it has some really weird habits. Black oil beetle larvae use their hooked feet to hitch free rides on unsuspecting bees. They hop off in the bee’s nest, where they gobble up its eggs before pupating and emerging as adults the following spring. Charming!

7-spot ladybird

© John Bridges

2 - Seven-spot ladybird
Seven-spot ladybirds start life as something truly alien-looking. Baby ladybirds look a little like spiny woodlice crossed with caterpillars, with bright orange spots. And don’t let that innocent-looking face fool you – seven-spot ladybirds gobble up around 5,500 aphids in their lifetime! They’re great for the garden.

Sexton beetle

© Charlotte Varela

3 - Sexton beetle
Sexton beetles are also known as burying beetles, and not because they’re keen gardeners. Males and females meet during a hot date on the body of a dead bird or small mammal. They then work together to move and bury the body, which becomes food for their youngsters. Talk about super strength!

Green tortoise beetle

© John Bridges

4 - Green tortoise beetle
How far would you go to hide from predators? It’s go hard or go home for young green tortoise beetles – they make an icky coat out of their old skins and poo. Nice! Adults clean up their act; if they feel threatened they clamp their shell down hard around them to grip onto the leaf they’re standing on.

Stag beetle

© Margaret Holland

5 - Stag beetle
How impressive are those horns? Male stag beetles use them to duel with rivals and woo lucky ladies. Stag beetles have an incredible life cycle: they live as larva (babies) for as long as six years, shedding their skin five times in the process! Adult stag beetles live for just a few months.