Thick-legged Flower Beetle
Latin name: Oedemera nobilis
Notable feature: Metallic green and thickened hind legs on males
Conservation Status: Not Evaluated
Where in the UK: Widespread across the UK, common in Southern and South East England
The Thick-legged Flower Beetle (Oedemera nobilis) is a medium-sized beetle, commonly seen across the UK. Known by other names including the Swollen-thighed Beetle and the False Oil Beetle this brightly coloured beetle is often easy to spot being bright green, with a golden/coppery sheen; some individuals can appear blue or violet in colour.
A fine weather beetle the Thick-legged Flower Beetle is a pollinator of many open-structured flowers including Cow Parsley, Ox-eye Daisy and Bramble. These beetles are most frequently spotted in bright sunlight on flower heads on warm to hot days.
Both male and female Thick-legged Flower Beetles are very similar in appearance, but males can be easily identified through their very swollen hind femora (legs) from which the beetle gets it’s name.
- Size: 6-11mm in length
- Life span: Annual life cycle; adults can be seen from April to September
- Diet: The Thick-legged Flower Beetle is a pollinator of many flowers and feeds on pollen and nectar
- Reproduction: After mating, the female Thick-legged Flower Beetle lays eggs in plant stems; the larvae hatch in the dry stems of plants like thistles and brooms.
- When to see: Adults can be seen from April to September but the larvae are well concealed within the dry stems of plants where they feed and grow before emerging to become adults.
- Population Trend: In the UK the Thick-legged Flower Beetle was formerly very local and restricted in the south of England but following a period of expansion since the 1990’s it is now common throughout southern England and Wales and there are a few records further north to the Scottish borders. So far there are very few records from Ireland
- Threats: The Thick-legged Flower Beetle as a species is currently enjoying a period of expansion; predators include birds, toads and other insect eating creatuers.
- Fun Fact: The Thick-legged Flower Beetle belongs to the Oedemeridae family sometimes also known as the ‘False Blister Beetles’, (owing to a resemblance to the true ‘Blister Beetles’ which contain a blistering chemical known as Cantharidin). Thick-legged Flower Beetles may also contain Cantharidin which acts as a poisonous defense for dangerous predators.
How you can help:
Buglife is working to increase awareness of pollinating insects through our various projects, including our Pollinator Projects, but we need your help!
If you would like to get involved and help our fantastic pollinators then why not check out our Gardening for Bugs resources. Planting open structured flowers such as daisies, roses and cornflowers can attract Thick-legged Flower Beetles into gardens and provides them with a source of pollen. Buglife has helped plant wildflower meadows in cities across the UK, including Glasgow and Plymouth, which we are hoping will help attract Thick-legged Flower Beetles into our cities.
You can also join a recording scheme and log your finds – take a look at the UK Beetle Recording Scheme for more details or download the iRecord app and get recording!
Do remember that we rely on donations to continue our work. If you have searched, found and learnt about our incredible invertebrates on our website, please do consider Making a Donation, Becoming a Member or maybe even making a purchase in our shop. For more ideas on how to support our work find out how to Get Involved. Thank you 🕷