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Chris Gibson

Scarlet malachite beetle (Malachius aeneus) © Chris Gibson

Scarlet malachite beetle

Chris Gibson

Fast facts

  • Latin name: Malachius aeneus
  • Notable feature: Small beautiful red and green insect
  • Rarity in UK: Rare / Common
  • Where in the UK: Found on just eight sites in the UK

This little beetle is one of the UK's rarest and most beautiful insects. As we celebrate National Insect Week this June, please help us protect the Scarlet malachite beetle! The Scarlet malachite beetle (Malachius aeneus), is a beautiful red and green insect found on just eight sites in the UK. It is a small but handsome beetle that is incredibly rare and somewhat mysterious. The adult beetles appear at the beginning of May and feed on flowers in meadows and hedgerows. They are only around for just over a month, by mid-June they have disappeared for another year.  

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The Scarlet malachite beetle (Malachius aeneus), is a beautiful red and green insect found on just eight sites in the UK. It is a small but handsome beetle that is incredibly rare and somewhat mysterious. The adult beetles appear at the beginning of May and feed on flowers in meadows and hedgerows. They are only around for just over a month, by mid-June they have disappeared for another year.

The beetle is found mainly in Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hampshire, although it was once found in counties across the south and east of England. The reason for its decline is unkown, however is thought to be caused by habitat loss and intensive farming.

Research by Buglife has suggested that the beetle lays its eggs in thatch. If you have a thatched roof and live in one of the areas where the beetle is known to exist, please contact us if you are having your home re-thatched.

Visit the Scarlet malachite beetle project page for more information on our work to conserve this beautiful beetle.

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