The Net-winged Beetle is a beautiful beetle which groups for only a short period of time. Even though they are seldom seen, they are always around, usually living inside leaf litter or even under dying bark. They are similar to bees and butterflies in that they are very important pollinators in our ecosystem, feeding on plant nectar. They also feed on a poisonous plant called Milkweed. This they do for two reasons: firstly, simply for food but also because one of the effects of eating milkweed is to make them unpalatable to bird species so, even with their bright orange colouring, they do not need to hide from birds or make use of camouflage. Interesting little creatures and quite a sight to see them, especially during their breeding season when they are found in their hundreds!
Report and image by Brendan