During a morning walk through The Mythe Railway Reserve on 20 April I was surprised to find at least six of these beetles (Platyrhinus resinosus: Coleoptera, Anthribidae) resting on a log at the side of the track. The weather was sunny but cool and it appeared likely that the beetles, scattered along the top of the log, were warming themselves there.
On previous occasions when I have encountered this beetle I have only seen single individuals, and it was strange to find so many in one place. David Atty (Coleoptera of Gloucestershire: 1983) particularly associated them with the fungus Daldinia concentrica (King Alfred’s Cakes) and seems to have regarded the species is as a relatively uncommon one in our area.
As the adult beetles spend a lot of their time keeping quite still, their resemblance to bird droppings probably provides both protection from potential predators and effective concealment from wandering naturalists; perhaps they are more widespread than we realise. When I passed the same log again a little later most of the beetles had disappeared, and after an hour they had all vanished, presumably to explore the nearby vegetation.