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Checkered Beetle Valgus hemipterus

The Checkered Beetle reaches a length of 6 to 9 mm. There are big differences between the males and the females. The males are black with an extended pattern of silvry grey scales on both the neck shields and the shields. The females are black too, but they have only a few tufts of silvry grey scales, mainly on the shields. Females also have a pointed extension on the back of the body. This is a kind of saw, which they use to saw holes in wood. The eggs are then deposited in these holes. In both sexes the shields are really dented, giving the impression the animal was tred upon.

The adult beetles are seen from April to half June. The females usually stay near the wood they were born in and don't eat much. Males love to visit flowers to eat nectar or take a sunbath. The eggs are being deposited in self made holes in usually wet rotting wood. Favoured trees are birch, oak, elm and chestnut. The larvae normally pupate in the same year, but both larvae and pupae may overwinter.

The Checkered Beetle lives in Central and Eastern Europe, the Near East, Southern Siberia and Northern Africa. The western border of its territory is right in the Netherlands. First seen in the USA in 1980 in Michigan. Has since spread through the Great Lake District in the USA and Ontario in Canada. This is not a British species.