Thick-legged Flower Beetle

The Thick-legged Flower Beetle (Oedemera nobilis) is also known as the False Oil Beetle or Swollen-thighed Beetle. It is similar to Oedemera flavipes, although the latter is not present in the UK and is a duller, darker metallic green. The females of this species are also very similar to Oedemera virescens and Oedemera lurida, but tend to be bigger, a brighter green and have more tapered elytra (wing cases).

 

HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION

Found among flowers, the thick-legged flower beetle is an inhabitant of meadows, hedgerows, fields and gardens. Some host plants include daisy, bramble, hogweed, hawthorn and cow parsley. Common through the southern parts of the UK, the thick-legged flower beetle can also be found through Europe (except eastern Europe), rarely in Denmark and parts of North Africa.

 

Thick-legged Flower Beetle on a thistle - female

DESCRIPTION

The male of the species gives this beetle its common names, its hind femora being extremely swollen, all other legs are long and thin. The overall colour of this narrow beetle is a metallic green or blue, sometimes with a reddish hue. The head exhibits large eyes and long, thin antennae. The elytra do not meet, rather they taper away from each other as they get further from the head, this allows the dark underwings to be visible. The elytra do not cover the full length of the body, and look rather like and ill-fitting suit. The overall length of this species is usually 6 - 11mm.

 

The females are similar to the male but lack the enlarged femora.

 

DIET, BEHAVIOUR AND REPRODUCTION

The young larva live within plant stems, most notably of the Spartium and Cirsium species. The adults are best viewed on sunny days (April to September) feeding on the pollen of their preferred host flowers.