Ten-spotted Pot Beetle

Images  [0]

Ten-spotted Pot Beetle




The ten-spotted pot beetle is 3-4mm in length and comes in two different colours. One of the forms is a shining black colour and the other is a shiny, yellow-orange colour with a black head and antennae and black edging and four black spots on the yellow thorax. There are also five large block spots on each of the two yellow wing cases, hence its nickname.

The main habitats for these beetles are wet woodland and lowland raised bogs. The beetles are mainly found on birch trees or sallows growing in bogs.

The adult ten-spotted pot beetle feeds on the leaves of trees such as eared willow. The larvae feed on fallen sallow leaves.

Life Style
The eggs are dropped to the ground in little cases or 'pots' formed from the female beetles droppings. The larvae then live in these 'pots'
The larvae take about a year to fully develop.
The adult beetles are very active and will fly or drop to the ground if they are disturbed.

Current Status

There is still little known about the presence of this beetle in the UK. It has been recently confirmed that this species exists in good numbers in Cheshire at Wybunbury Moss and there is also a modern record for a site near Wigan, Greater Manchester. Other old records exist for several extremely localised, widely separated populations in east Sussex, Grampian and Tayside. However, its presence in Staffordshire is now uncertain.

The adults feed on young birch (betula) less than 2 metres high and have been swept from dwarf trees in deciduous woodland during June. It was previously assumed that the larvae occur in ant nests like other members of the genus, but this is now being questioned.

Cryptocephalus decemmacultus is nationally rare and is a UK priority species as defined in the UK Biodiversity Steering Group Tranche 2 Action Plans report 1998. It is also listed as a Category 2 species in the invertebrate Red Data Book.


* Loss of habitat through destruction of natural woodland.
* Loss of habitat through prevention of young birch succession on peatland.

Objectives, Targets and Actions

Objectives, targets and actions to help conserve the ten-spotted pot beetle in the Cheshire region can be found on the Biodiversity Action Reporting System (BARS) along with full details of our progress so far.

How to find out more about the Spotted Yellow/Black Leaf Beetle?

Information about Wybunbury Moss and its associated wildlife - http://www.dkwright.co.uk/Wybunbury_Moss_Reserve.htm

Contact details

LBAP Chair Cheshire Wildlife Trust
Phone: 01948 820728

References & Glossary

Shirt, D. B. (Ed.) (1997): British Red Data Book: 2. Insects. Nature Conservation Council.
A Biodiversity Audit of North West England: UK Steering Group (1999) Mr. John Webb.