Red headed cardinal beetles
Dave Cheetham (July)
Climbing at Holyhead mountain last week we noticed that every yarrow plant was littered with these little red beetles. They were all locked in a similar loving embrace to this pair, selflessly ensuring the future of their own race. Each flower was covered in cavorting red honeymooners.
Cardinal Beetles eat other insects or, if none are available, each other. The red colouring is a warning to predators which combined with the fact that they they taste awful helps them survive. The larvae are brownish-cream and are quite flat which allows them to live in very narrow spaces like underneath loose bark.
Red Headed Cardinal Beetles are common in the UK and, judging by the way this lot were going at it, they are not likely to disappear in a hurry.