Lesser Bloody Nosed Beetle - Timarcha goettingensis

Scientific Name: Timarcha goettingensis.

English Name: Lesser Bloody Nosed Beetle.

French Name: Le Petit crache sang.

5 Key Characters:
  • 8 - 10 mm long.
  • Pronotum (the section between head and abdomen) has almost parallel sides.
  • black quite shiny domed body.
  • flightless, and walks ponderously.
  • exudes a red fluid from its mouth when alarmed.
Lookalikes: Bloody Nosed Beetle T. tenebricosa, which is larger and not so shiny.

Habitat: Grassland where there are Bedstraws Galium spp, as this is what it eats.

Active Period: Adults are most active from April to August, but can be seen in any month.

Status: Common.

Further information:
Post on Days on the Claise, our daily blog.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:
Photographs are numbered from left to right and top to bottom. 1 - 7 female, eating Galium sp, in the haymeadow in front of our orchard, April. 8 - 9 male (note felty pads on feet), details as female above.

A female crossing the road in Preuilly sur Claise.
A male, unceremoniously tipped upside down so you can see his feet pads. These allow him to grip on to the female when mating using Van der Waal's force ie the hairs on his feet interlock at a molecular level with the female's back.


  1. You said we had them here...
    but at 8 to 10mm long, I don't recognise them.
    The ones I photograph here have an abdomen that is at least 12mm long...
    and usually much larger...

  2. Tim: The one in the last photo was taken at your place I think. Are you sure yours are bigger than 10mm? Have you actually measured them or are you judging by eye? The reason I ask is because there is a known tendency to over-estimate the size of insects. Even experienced entomologists do it.

  3. I think that might have been...
    it looks like the bridge parapet...
    and yes, I have measured others...
    ever since you pointed out that overestimation fact to me...
    hence the reason I now carry a 10cm steel rule in my bag!...
    also the body is more oval.
    I'll dig out some of the pix and mail them to you.

    But probably not until after the festivities!! Currently still prioritizing "Chicken Run"...

  4. Tim: Maybe you've got both. Once you get your eye in you can tell them apart. My observation is that we get goettingensis in the Touraine and tenebricosa in the Brenne, but I don't see any reason why we might not have some mixed pockets.

  5. PS It's the shape of the pronotum that is the key to distinguishing them. Parallel sided in goettingenis, narrowing towards the abdomen in tenebricosa.

  6. I forgot to mention that I have always 'measured' to some extent...
    the width of my thumbnails is 15mm...
    and of my little fingernails...
    it is 10mm...
    and both my thumbs are 1" from the quick to the first crease.
    And I measure 20cm [7" 3/4ths] if I spread thumb and little finger out to a slight strain...
    comes from doing a lot of woodwork.
    You just get to know...

  7. Tim: My grandfather, who was a joiner, could measure accurately by eye in 16ths of an inch.