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The bloody-nosed beetle is a large harmless and flightless chrysomelid. Average specimens are quite squat being about 2 cm (3/4 inch) long, and about half that wide. The body is strongly curved and elytra unusually smooth. The color is slightly metallic black or bluish or purplish. Antennae are thick and well segmented. Legs have long tarsi and terminate with a double hook.
These beetles usually move slowly on the ground, in the grass and herbaceous plants, mainly of night. As defensive behaviour they exude a bright red-orange fluid from their mouth (hence the common name), foul-tasting to predators. This fluid is hemolymph. This phenomenon of "bleeding" exists in other wingless insects.
Timarcha tenebricosa is monophagous, the larva feed exclusively on bedstraws, especially species with tender leaves (Galium verum, Galium mollugo). Eggs are laid in spring on bedstraws. Larvae are quite large (up to 20 mm) blue-black in color. Pupa overwinter.
This species inhabits grassy areas, forest edges and forest clearings.
- Bloody-nosed beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa) at arkive.org;
- "Wildlife: insects: Bloody-nosed Beetle" Tiscali Reference Encyclopedia;
- "Bloody-Nosed Beetles - Timarcha tenebricosa - UK Safari";
- "The Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa)" Cambridge Green Belt Project;
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