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Chestnut click beetle

75 year ago the Chestnut click beetle (Anostirus castaneus) was found on a number of sites between Durham and South Wales. Now it’s only found at two locations in Britain: Birk Cragg, Crag Lane, Harrogate, HG3 1QA and in an area of soft cliffs on the Isle of Wight.

Chestnut click beetle (Anostirus castaneus) (c) Ian Middlebrook

Chestnut click beetle (Anostirus castaneus) (c) Ian Middlebrook

This distinctive beetle has feathery antennae – rather like stag’s antlers - and is an orangey brown/chestnut colour and about 8-10mm long. The area behind its head is covered in golden hairs and it has a black tip at the end of its body.

Click beetles get their name because when threatened or turned over, they jump into the air with a loud click.

Buglife is working with RHS Harlow Carr, which is next to the Harrogate site, to hunt for the beetles. Work has also been carried out by Harrogate Borough Council to improve habitat at Birk Crag

  • If you live near the Harrogate site, please lend us a hand to look for these beetles. You are most likely to see them on a sunny day; check on top of rocks and plants, where the soil is sandy and it is sheltered from the wind.
  • If you think you find one, so please take a photo and send it to so we can confirm it’s a Chestnut click beetle. Thank you!