This magnificent beetle is Britain’s largest and is, sadly, quite scarce now. The male’s huge ‘antlers’ are in fact overgrown mandibles (jaws) for courtship display and are generally too large and unwieldy for the beetle to be able to bite with them.
These stunning jewel-like beetles are members of the scarab family. The adults feed on pollen and nectar, and sometimes petals, particularly from roses, hence their name.
This shiny midnight blue beetle was believed to be extinct in Britain from 1946 until their rediscovery in 2004, since when it has increased in both range and abundance.