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160529 Cardinal beetle (1)

May I respectfully introduce to you His Eminence the Red-headed Cardinal beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis), gloriously clad in his scarlet attire – no green camouflage for this prominent member of the insect congregation. He’s clever: the bright red colour is a ruse to fool potential predators into thinking he’s toxic. He’s a predator himself: he snacks on flying insects not herbage. Unlike his Christian counterpart, he’s common: he can be found throughout Britain. His diocese is the woodland edge, where he has a particular liking for rotting stumps, though he’s also partial to long periods of sunbathing on large leaves.