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Beetle, Dendroxena quadrimaculata

Observed: 22nd April 2011 By: Martin Harvey
Berkshire Moth GroupFSC - Field Studies CouncilSoldierflies and Allies Recording SchemeBuckinghamshire Invertebrate Group
Invertebrates expert
A carrion beetle, Dendroxena quadrimaculata laying an egg on oak, Black Park

I'm posting this photo on behalf of the photographer, Wendy Wilson. It's of a Nationally Scarce species that preys on Lepidoptera caterpillars and is said to spend most of its time in the tree canopy, so I suspect that few people will have observed it egg-laying, as shown here in Wendy's photo.
Wendy says:
"While in Black Park on Good Friday, I checked briefly for Purple Hairstreak caterpillars on an oak tree. Instead of a PH larva, I saw a beetle I didn't recognise and took a hasty photo before it flew off and I could go for a decent close-up. When I got it up on the screen, I could see it was laying an egg. It's rather an exposed place for an egg, being on top of a leaf in full sun. I have identified it as Dendroxena quadrimaculata, a carnivorous species of the Silphidae family (unless anyone knows better). It eats larvae of lepidoptera which it tracks down by scent (note its clubbed antennae)."

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Martin Harvey's picture


Keith Alexander tells me that the larvae of Dendroxena develop in leaf litter rather than in the tree canopy, so maybe this isn't an egg at all, perhaps the beetle is just excreting some fluid? Difficult to be certain from the photo.

Entomologist and biological recorder

rimo's picture

It looks more like meconium

It looks more like meconium being excreted than oviposition to me?

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