It may be indoors, but it’s not a household creature

I was brought this yesterday. A couple appeared at the Nunhead Cemetery Open Day bug-hunt and when there was a gap in the stream of children they leant in and handed me a small plastic pot containing a longhorn beetle — Phymatodes testaceus.

Phymatodes testaceus is sometimes testaceous (reddish) sometimes metallic blue, sometimes both, but always striking.

Phymatodes testaceus is sometimes testaceous (reddish) sometimes metallic blue, sometimes both, but always striking.

It’s a beetle I don’t see very often, and although widespread in most of England and Wales I’d consider it very local. Where had it come from? Their Kent living room — quite a few of them apparently, flying about over the last few days. They were slightly worried in case there was an infestation. They could tell from my sceptical expression that this was unlikely.

There is no way that this is a domestic insect, it’s a species of old broad-leaved woodlands, breeding in the dead logs that litter the woods. Ah! A look of understanding crossed their brows. They must have been in the logs — brought in during the winter for the log-burning stove. Sorted.

They went away well pleased, but declined a bug-hunt certificate.

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