Oedemera nobilis (Scopoli, 1763)

Thick-legged Flower Beetle

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

TENEBRIONOIDEA Latreille, 1802

OEDEMERIDAE Latreille, 1810

OEDEMERINAE Latreille, 1810

OEDEMERINI Latreille, 1810

Oedemera Olivier, 1789

Oedemera Olivier, 1789

This is a common and often abundant species throughout lowland western and southern Europe; it is especially common in warmer Mediterranean climates including most of North Africa but it is absent from much of Europe east of Germany and it extends north only to Denmark, where it is scarce, and the U.K. It is absent from Scandinavia. In the U.K. it was formerly very local and restricted in the south of England but following a period of expansion since the 1990’s it is now common throughout southern England and Wales and there are a few records further north to the Scottish borders. So far there are very few records from Ireland. Adults occur from April or May and persist into August; they are pollen feeders and may be found on the flowers of a wide range of plant families e.g. Asteraceae, Cyperaceae, Convolvulaceae, Cruciferae, Plantaginae, Rosaceae, Rubiaceae and Apiaceae etc. but they are especially attracted to those of Leucanthemum vulgare, Oxeye daisy, and various umbels; the first records of the year are often from Crataegus blossom. They are mostly active in sunshine and may occur in just about any situation with a suitable supply of flowers; grassland, waste ground, parks and meadows etc. and later in the season they may be swept from grassland in abundance e.g. we have found them to be very common on south-facing grassy slopes in the Chiltern hills. The larvae have been recorded developing in dry stems of Spartium, Spanish broom, and Cirsium spp.

6-11mm. An unmistakable elongate and rather flattened species; entirely bright metallic green, blue or coppery with short, fine and pale pubescence to the upper surface. Head elongate and narrowed either side of large and very convex eyes, palpi dark metallic to pale,  with the terminal segment cylindrical, antennae inserted in front of the eyes; very long with the basal segment curved and the second very small. Vertex and frons densely and coarsely rugose. Pronotum quadrate to slightly elongate, constricted behind the middle and with a wide and deep basal depression, the surface punctation variable. Elytra broadest behind well-developed shoulders and each narrowed to a rounded  apex so that  the wings  and  abdomen are  visible from  above, each

with three longitudinal costae, including the sutural, from the base to near the apex. Legs long and slender, entirely dark metallic but for the pro-tibiae which are to varying degrees testaceous. Hind legs dimorphic; femora greatly enlarged and tibiae externally angled and produced into a tooth at the inner apical angle in the male. Tarsi 5-5-4, each with the penultimate segment deeply bilobed.

Similar Species
Oedemera lurida
  • Generally smaller (5-8mm)
  • Male lacking distinctive enlarged femora.
  • Elytra more parallel-sided.
  • Less metallic general appearance.

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