Bloody-nosed beetle

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Bloody-nosed beetle
Chrysomelidae - Timarcha tenebricosa.JPG
Dorsal view
Chrysomelidae - Timarcha tenebricosa-001.JPG
Lateral view
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Chrysomelidae
Genus: Timarcha
Species: T. tenebricosa
Binomial name
Timarcha tenebricosa
(Fabricius, 1775)

The bloody-nosed beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa), also called blood spewer or blood spewing beetle, is a leaf beetle belonging to the family Chrysomelidae.


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 at night. As defensive behavior they exude droplets of their bright red-orange hemolymph by breaking thin membranes in their mouth,[1] which is foul-tasting to predators. This phenomenon of "bleeding" exists in some other insects, such as ladybugs.

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.


The beetle can be found in southern and central Europe, and is common in Britain and Ireland.


This species inhabits grassy areas, forest edges and forest clearings.


  1. ^ Robertson, Matthew. "Staying Alive." Insects and spiders. Pleasantville, N.Y.: Reader's Digest Children's Books, 2000. 43. Print.

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