Appearance''Trichodes alvearius'' is a very hairy beetle with black head and scutellum. The elongated elytra show a bright red colour with black bands. This species can easily be distinguished from ''Trichodes apiarius'' by the black stripe down the middle of the back and the red apex, not reached by the black terminal stain. It does not fly readily, relying instead on its warning coloration to protect itself from predators.
DistributionThese beetles are widely distributed across southern Europe in Albania, Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, the western half of the Balkans, and in North Africa. The species became extinct in England in the nineteenth century.
BehaviorAt the larval stage they are parasites of several species of bees and wasps, as the adults lay the eggs close hymenopteran nests or hives , eating various stages of their victims.
The adults can be encountered from May through August on the flowers, mainly Apiaceae, Asteraceae and ''Crataegus'' species, feeding on pollen. However, they integrate their diet with small insects that they actively hunt, especially ''Oedemera'', ''Psilothrix'', ''Stenopterus'' and ''Clytus'' species.
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