Pyrochroa coccinea (Linnaeus, 1761)
Pyrochroa coccinea is one of just three European species, all of which are found in the UK. They are more commonly known as Cardinal Beetles, due to their bright red coloration and belong to the Pyrochroidae family. The larva is carnivorous and lives under loose bark or within rotting wood. The adults are very conspicuous and found in May and June, but we have only found them in the Sherwood Forest area. P. coccinea differs from the very similar P. serraticornis, by having the head black.
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The two photographs show something that unfortunately wasn't noticed at the time they were taken. Or rather, what is on the antenna of this P. coccinea, wasn't what we thought it was. Only when we uploaded the photographs onto the computer, did the hitchhiker become known... a Pseudoscorpion. Pseudoscorpions have been noted to hitch a lift as a means of transport to new areas, but such photographs are unusual. Just wish they had been of better quality.
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The following four photographs show most of the life-cycle stages. A full grown larva was found under the bark of a felled Pine at Clipstone Old Quarter in early 2012. The pupa darkened around 24 hours prior to hatching and the emerged adult aquired full colouration after 36 hours.
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Nottinghamshire (VC56) distribution of Pyrochroa coccinea
 
 
 
 
The records for the Nottinghamshire distribution map are currently provided by the following contributors - Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Richard Rogers. Trevor and Dilys Pendleton. Pauline Bradford. K N A Alexander (Invertebrate assemblage condition at Birklands and Bilhaugh SSSI and Birklands West and Ollerton Corner SSSI survey reports 2009-10). Natural England - Invertebrate Site Register 2006. Stuart Warrington. The National Trust (Clumber Park invertebrate records). Allan and Annette Binding (Clumber Park invertebrate records).

You can contribute your own records to help us gain an accurate status of this species in Nottinghamshire. Send an Excel spreadsheet of your records via the 'contact us' link at the top of the homepage.

Updated February 2017

copyright Trevor and Dilys Pendleton (www.eakringbirds.com) . .
Beetle Photo Gallery - Thumbnail version
Beetle Photo Gallery - Text version