alfiegeorge's picture

Unknown beetle

Observed: 6th August 2009 By: alfiegeorge

Found this specimen feeding on cow parsley? on the edge of a cleared conifer woodland site in Strathpeffer, Ross shire, Scottish Highlands,and have always wondered what it was, it would appear to be a Bee but looks more like a Beetle at closer inspection......can anyone help?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Bee-beetle (Trichius fasciatus) interacts


Martin Harvey's picture

Bee beetles

These are superb insects! Trichius rosaceus has long been known as a scarce species and possible migrant to this country, but seems to be turning up more frequently and is perhaps becoming established in some places. See discussion at:

Compare the fairly smooth middle tibia shown in your photo with the toothed middle tibia shown in this photo of the other species, T. fasciatus:

Entomologist and biological recorder

Martin Harvey's picture

... or is it?

Having re-read the comments from syrphus at:

I'm now less certain - according to syrphus the black band at the front of the elytra (wing cases) and the pale hairs on the abdomen suggest Trichius fasciatus, in contradiction to the shape of the middle tibia. I'm confused (not for the first time!). Will seek further advice.

Entomologist and biological recorder

Syrphus's picture

I have never needed the

I have never needed the tibial character, Martin. This was found 'in my back yard' in 2009, which was a very good year for T. fasciatus with 'flocks' of a dozen and more. We are lucky to have this as a garden insect.

I would make this fasciatus on the colour of the hairs, which are always white in fasciatus and pink in rosaceus (which has never been found up here).

HBRG has targeted this beetle over many years, and it is one of our TRY species - It would be interesting to know the truth about the tibia.



recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on

Darren J. Mann's picture


Dear all,

the specimen is Trichius fasciatus. Although the tibial character is a good one, the angle at which you observe it can confuse the shape. The colour pattern of the elytra seem to be more reliable for distinguishing the two species. Unfortunelty since Jessop (1986 Handbook) only uses the tibial character most have put to much emphasis on this.

In T fasciatus the black band at the base of the elytra is complete (covering most of the base), whereas on T. rosaceus the band is restrcited to the humneral area (outer edgers).


Oxford University Museum of Natural History
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Syrphus's picture

Thanks, Darren. I am glad I

Thanks, Darren. I am glad I don't need to re-assess all these records!



recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on

Martin Harvey's picture


Thanks for clarifying things.

Entomologist and biological recorder