Beetles is a large group and they can vary considerably in colour, size and form. They have hard protective forewings (wind cases) covering their delicate hind wings and this distinguishes them from most other insects. If you look at the wing cases you can see that they meet in a straight line down the middle of the insect, making a T shape. These wing cases are often shiny. They have chewing mouthparts with sharp jaws unlike the True bugs.

Scientific name


Did you know..

There are 46 ladybird species now found in Britain but only 26 are easily recognisable as ladybirds. Many are plant-feeders but other are predators of other insects; while others are fungus-feeders, or re-cycle decaying animal or plant remains, including dung. Ladybirds are very useful insects, because many species prey on common garden pests like aphids.

Similar species

Earwigs (Dermaptera) as these have short wing cases and chewing mouthparts but they also have a pair of long ‘pincers’ at the end of the abdomen. They could also be confused with True bugs but True bugs have only partly hardened fore wings and sucking, needle-like mouthparts.

Useful links

UK beetle recording and info

Record a sighting