Dluogs's picture

Black Snail Beetle 1

Observed: 15th September 2012 By: DluogsDluogs’s reputation in InvertebratesDluogs’s reputation in InvertebratesDluogs’s reputation in Invertebrates
Black Snail Beetle 1a
Black Snail Beetle 1b
Black Snail Beetle 1c
Black Snail Beetle 1d

A large shiny black beetle with long head, strong ridges on wing cases and rounded shoulders (front edge of pronotum). It eats snails. Using the key to Silphidae found in Amateur Entomologists' Society, Beetle News vol. 1 issue 3: http://www.amentsoc.org/publications/beetle-news/ - thank you to other iSpotters for links to this!

Species interactions

No interactions present.


nightfly's picture

Hi Dluogs, What length was

Hi Dluogs,

What length was the beetle? Sometimes the pics of Silpha atrata appear to be of an insect too large to be it, its possibly just the quality of your macro photography. Still would love to know how long it is. It looks larger than the ones I see which are only 12/13mm long.


Dluogs's picture

I've added another picture to

I've added another picture to show scale. At the point where the beetle's head is, my finger is 16mm wide. Allowing for the fact that the hand is under the flower, it could look smaller than that, but I estimate that it appears at least 12mm wide at the level of the beetle, if you see what I mean. That would make the beetle quite a lot bigger than the ones you see.

What does that mean? Do you think it could be a different species - if so, which?

Sorry about the delay in replying, but thanks for your interest!


nightfly's picture

Sorry for late reply Sarah, I

Sorry for late reply Sarah,

I just wondered if it might be another species as it appears so much bigger than the ones Ive seen recently. I sometimes think silpha atrata might be Necrodes littoralis but this is a lot bigger and quite distinctive. Sorry I probably caused some unnecessary confusion. Your beetle just seemed to have a bit more shaping to the elytra as on N littoralis, but the thorax is quite different on the 2 species. They are really good pics you have taken.


Dluogs's picture

Thanks for taking an

Thanks for taking an interest! It's always good to learn more about the process of identification.