Mike Raine (June)
This beautiful beetle was spotted in Cwm Idwal during one of our recent Mountain Environment courses.
It normally lives in deciduous woodlands, preferably oak, so whilst the area where it was found was once wooded itself this brightly coloured specimen had probably been blown up the hill by the recent northerly winds. It feeds on caterpillars in the oak canopy and has a common name of the Caterpillar Hunter. Its home is under loose bark and in cracks in the bark. During periods of summer heat or drought it hides in deep subterranean earth cells. Whilst still frequent in England and Wales it has become extinct in Ireland due to the loss of mature oak woodland.