Cryptocephalus primarius Harold, 1872

Taxonomy: Polyphaga > Chrysomeloidea > Chrysomelidae > Cryptocephalus > Cryptocephalus primarius

Common name: 

Rock-rose Pot Beetle


Size: 4.5-8.0mm
Basic colour: Black and red/orange-red
Pattern colour: Black spots on the red/orange-red elytra
Number of spots: Five on each elytron
Pronotoum: Shiny black
Leg colour: Blackish - may be tinged with other colours.

The largest british Cryptocephalus - distinctively patterned but rare with a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) page here.


Status: Endangered (RDB1), UKBAP species. Widely scattered with recent records only from a few locations in S. England.
Habitat: Calcareous grassland, especially warm, sheltered, dry south-facing slopes.
Host plant: Common Rock-rose (Helianthemum nummularium)
Overwintering: Laravl development (5 instars) takes about one year.
Food: Adults feed on petals, anthers and pollen of the host plant; larvae feed on stems and leaves.


Wiltshire, C.W. & Owen, J.A. (2004). The brief history of Cryptocephalus primarius Harold Chrysomelidae) in Britain. The Coleopterist 13(4): 162.

Distribution (may take a minute to appear)