Do you live in France? Do you have a wood burning fire or stove? If so, you've probably spent the winter disposing of little red visitors on a daily basis.
Pyrrhidium sanguineum female.They are a beetle in the Cerambycidae family, known as longicorns in English and capricornes in French. If you live in France and you've had these beetles in your house you may be worried now that you know that they are capricornes. You get the impression that capricorne beetles can eat entire houses in a single night if you read some accounts.
Worry not. Very few capricornes are in the least interested in your charpenterie, and those that are only like wood that is a bit damp (so your problem is not really the beetles, it's your roof and guttering). Many species of capricorne are in fact endangered because what they require is dead wood in a still living tree. They come in a wide variety of colours and sizes (there are many species).
Pyrrhidium sanguineum female.The red ones are most often Pyrrhidium sanguineum or Welsh Oak Longicorn Beetle. It doesn't seem to have a French name, which is curious, as it is quite common. They arrive in people's homes in the fire wood. Their natural emergence is scheduled for this time of year, but the warmth of their new homes causes the adults to emerge throughout the winter. Both because of their scarlet colour and their habit of heading for the net curtains (they are programmed to head for the light to escape) they are highly visible. Not only are they visible, but there is usually more than one, seemingly appearing from nowhere. The homeowner begins to worry about the state of their woodwork, but there is no need. Oak Longicorns don't like milled timber, only rough oak with its bark still on.
Looked at closely, for example through a 20x loop, they are extraordinarily beautiful. The red colouration is not created by the pigmentation in the wing cases, but is more like a red gold dusting of scales and hairs that can be rubbed off to reveal a glossy black beetle beneath. You can see a great close up photo taken by Dimitri Geystor on Le Monde des Insectes (the best French entomology online forum).