Variegated Tumbling Flower Beetle

Mordellistena variegata


Over all length 3.5 to 5mm. An unusual beetle that shows a 'neck' between the pronotum and head, and a spike-like projection from the tip of the abdomen. It is mainly dark brown, with patches of warmer, paler brown on the shoulders of the pronotum and of the elytra. There is also a patch of pale, sandy hairs at the distal end of the elytra.


Broad-leaved woodland and hedgerows. The larvae feed in rotting wood and the adults feed on flowers, particularly umbellifers. If disturbed they can flick themselves off the flower and tumble to the ground to disappear in the ground level vegetation.

Status and distribution

Fairly common and widespread in the east, south-east and middle of England. So far not recorded in Nottinghamshire. Recorded once at Netherfield Lagoons.

Best time to see

June to July.