Dascillidae
Includes a single very distinctive British species, Dascillus cervinus Linnaeus, 1758, the Orchid beetle, immediately recognisable by its large size, 8-11.5mm, bilobed tarsal segments and broad elongate form.

Quoted by Joy simply as local without regional qualification, the NBN map shows a wide mainland distribution north to Inverness and Skye with offshore records from the Isles of Wight and Anglesey. Although we have not recorded this species from our Watford area it is probably reasonable to expect it here; during the 1980's it was common along the Colne valley at Uxbridge, some 15KM south of us, where we found it in numbers by sweeping long grass beside the river on warm summer evenings, the beetles soon become obvious as they rest on long grass stems before flying. Adults occur from May onwards and frequent flowers during warm weather. Larvae live in the soil feeding on roots, mostly those of various grasses.

Head finely and deeply punctured and pubescent, transversely impressed between antennal canthi. Eyes convex and round but for a weak sinuation behind antennal insertions. Labrum transverse and very small, pubescent and with several long setae on front margin that project over the stout and prominent mandibles.. Antennae brown, inserted on front of head, base hidden from above by a narrow canthus. Filiform with segments 1 and 2 short, 3-11 elongate; segment 3 about twice as long as 2. All segments densely pubescent. Pronotum densely and finely punctate and with dense, backwardly directed pubescence. Convex and transverse (about 7:4) and broadest before obtuse hind angles. Lateral margins bordered and narrowly explanate, in side view gently sinuate. Hind margin sinuate either side of the broad scutellum. Elytra without striae but with indistinct ridges (view from in front and behind) and punctures that sometimes run in obscure rows, these are larger than those on the head and pronotum. Shoulders prominent, obscuring lateral margin from above, explanate margin broadens towards apex. Entire surface with dense, backwardly directed pubescence. Fully winged. Legs brown, robust and entirely pubescent. Tibiae sinuate, especially the protibiae, each with two strong spurs inside at apex. Tarsi 5-5-5. 1-4 bilobed; 4 very deeply so, 5 elongate. Claws smooth and strongly armed, weakly toothed at base.
Male narrower and black to pitchy, female broader and reddish yellow, rarely black (Joy)

Description from one Surrey specimen at X20

Home