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Black-headed Cardinal Beetle Pyrochroa coccinea

In Western Europe we see only three species of Cardinal Beetles (Fam. Pyrochroidae). All species are uncommon or even rare. This means we were very lucky finding the Black-headed Cardinal Beetle in our garden, for it will not pop up there frequently. Even though it is not a very big species (14 to 20 mm), it will catch your attention immediately, because of the striking red colour. The adults are usually found behind the loose bark of moulding trees. But they will also visit flowers to eat pollen. The larvae live for two or three years in dead, rotting trees. They hunt for other beetle larvae, mainly those of Longhorns and Jewel Beetles. This species can be encountered all over Europe, including most of the British Isles, but it is not common or numerous anywhere.