Oedemera nobilis, also known as the false oil beetle, thick-legged flower beetle or swollen-thighed beetle, is a beetle in the family Oedemeridae, a common species in Western Europe, including the south of England.
The male of Oedemera nobilis, as in most Oedemera species, possesses the hind femora very swollen, whereas in female the femora are thin; the elytra are strongly narrowed towards the apexes, not hiding the membranous hind wings. It is bright green, frequently with a golden or coppery shine; some individuals are blue or violaceous. It can only be confused with Oedemera flavipes (which does not live in England), from which it differs by its colour, as well as by the long white pubescence on the head, pronotum and hind tibiae of males.
Biology and ecology
Oedemera nobilis is abundant in spring on several flower species; the males are very conspicuous by their swollen femora and bright green colour. It feeds on pollen and nectar of Asteraceae, Cyperaceae, Convolvulaceae, Cruciferae, Dipsacaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Poacea, Papaveraceae, Plantaginaceae, Rosaceae, Rubiaceae and Apiaceae. The larvae develop on dry stems of Spartium and Cirsium.
Western and southern Europe, from the Iberian Peninsula to Greece; it is absolutely common in Mediterranean countries and penetrates in Central Europe to southern England and middle Germany; it reaches Denmark, where it is rare and sporadic. It is also recorded from the Maghreb. It is absent from alpine countries and Eastern Europe.
In England, it is presently in a markedly expansive and consolidational phase, which commenced during 1995.
Male of Oedemera nobilis on a Rosaceae
Male of Oedemera flavipes, always darker in colour than Oedemera nobilis
- "False Oil Beetle - Oedemera nobilis". Brickfields Country Park. 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- "Swollen-thighed Beetle - Oedemera nobilis". NatureSpot. 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- Vázquez, X. A. 1993. Coleoptera: Oedemeridae, Pyrochroidae, Pythidae, Mycteridae. Fauna Ibérica, vol. 5. Ramos, M. A. et al. (Eds.). Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, Madrid, 181 pp. ISBN 84-00-06109-8
- Vázquez, X. A. 2002. Fauna of European Oedemeridae. Argania editio, Barcelona, 178 pp. ISBN 84-931847-4-8
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