A Guide to beetles attracted to light

An interesting array of beetle fauna can be found using light trapping methods, with some species   only being recorded this way.  This guide hopes to point people new to beetles in the correct direction for identification purposes and if required a list the relevant ID features required in a photo for a definitive determination. Some species will still require microscopic examination for a species level identification, but this guide hopes to, at the very least streamline that process.

This guide builds on the moth trap intruders information produced by Martin Harvey, who I would like to thank for his support and the extensive use of his guides which have helped me generate

This list of species documented in moth traps. 

This is by no means complete and will be added to on the provision of relevant literature

I'd also like to thank everyone from the Moth Trap Intruders Uk Facebook page, who have allowed me to use their images.

Taking Photos

As a general rule  for beetles an ideal images will  include:

  •  Dorsal shot on flat surface

  •  Antennae and legs

  • Reference of size or an accurate measurement

  • Underside shot (especially in water beetles)

Beetles, like moths can be chilled for short periods to slow them down to take a photo with no ill effects.

Beetle overview by shape 

With over 4000 species of beetle in over 100 different families learning beetle taxonomy is not a ‘quick’ exercise.


To remedy this, this guide has been arranged in sections of  ‘overall shape’ of the beetles themselves.

This is still a work in process, and I am planning to continue updating this guide however most of the common suspects have been covered. 

Missing something? Let me know 


Click on the icon that matches your beetle shape best to go to the correct section.

Disclaimer: This will group unrelated species together in an attempt to save time.

Group C

Images: Luke Hand 


Group K


Group L

Images: Luke Hand 

lesser stag beetle

Helpful  Stuff


© 2023 Dan Asaw

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