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Red & Blue Soldier Beetle

Trichodes apiarius

Description:

It is an hairy small beetle with shining blue or black head and scutellum. The elongated elytra show a bright red colour with black bands. This species can easily be distinguished from Trichodes alvearius for the black terminal band reaching the apex of elytra. At the larval stage, these beetles are parasites of bees (hence the name “apiarius”), as the adults lay the eggs in the nests of solitary bees (Osmia and Megachile sp.) or in hives of honey bees, eating larvae and nymphs of their victims. The adults grow up to 9 - 16 mm. They can be encountered from May through June on the flowers, mainly Apiaceae (like on my photos), feeding on the pollen. However, they integrate their diet with small insects that they actively hunt.

Habitat:

These beetles are found in most of Europe, in East Palearctic ecozone and in North Africa.

Notes:

On last 3 pictures it is in company with phytophagous beetle (Oxythyrea funesta) [ http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/224... ]

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injica
Spotted by
injica

Croatia

Spotted on Jun 8, 2013
Submitted on Jun 8, 2013

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Reference