Wildlife enthusiasts have been thrilled to discover a rhinoceros beetle in Worcestershire, a giant insect only found in mainland Europe.
Budding entomologist, Angie Hill found the huge beetle in her organic garden in Martley, Worcestershire and sent a photograph to Buglife for identification. Experts there were amazed at the exciting discovery and confirmed that it is a European rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes nasicornis), the same species as Dim, the beetle in the Disney film ‘A Bug’s Life’.
Matt Shardlow, Buglife CEO said “We couldn’t believe it when we saw the photo; this is the first time one has ever been found in the wild in Britain. These gentle giants can grow up to 6 cm long and while the stag beetle can be longer, the European rhinoceros beetle is a robust beastie; this animal is probably the heaviest beetle in Britain.”
Angie said “I am delighted that this beetle has turned up in my garden and would love to know how arrived in a small Worcestershire village?”
Buglife are now asking for members of the public to keep their eyes peeled in the Worcestershire area.
Matt said “We need to find out whether it’s an escaped pet, an accidental introduction, perhaps with wood chips, or whether they are actually breeding in the wild. Worcestershire is an area famous for the Noble chafer (Gnorimus nobilis), and other rare beetles associated with dead wood. The rhino beetle feeds in decaying wood so it is possible they are breeding in an ancient wood in the Wye valley.”
If you find a similar looking beetle please take a photograph and send it in to Buglife. For more information and to help with European rhinoceros beetle identification, please visit www.buglife.org.uk