Four-banded Longhorn Beetle

The stinking summer cold that has been plaguing me for the past couple of days seems to be on the retreat and didn't really interfere with Alex and I monitoring a Bedfordshire sand-pit. Although it wasn't a particularly hot day, the pit is surrounded by woodland and the combination of sheltered conditions and bright sunshine made it feel sweltering at times.

We had a brief foray to the woodland edge to look for one of the site's rare species, and spotted this very handsome longhorn beetle, sitting on a Great Mullein leaf. The Four-banded Longhorn Beetle is a very widely distributed albeit very local species occuring throughout mainland UK north to Easter Ross. The adult beetles fly readily in hot sunshine and visit a range of flowers. The larvae develop in dead or decaying wood, and seem to have a preference for birch, which is one of the most frequent species in the surrounding woodland.

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