Tuesday 27 December 2022

Wildlife Review 2022 - Beetles

A total of 106 species were noted this year, including 23 new for the Recording Area, these bring the site audit total to 352, a low number for such a diverse group.

Weevils were well represented with 22 species, half of which were new for the Recording Area. Many are plant specific and some can be recognised by larval leafmines or plant galls. The new species included in Apr adults of Sea Beet Weevil Lixus scabricollis on 21st, the third record for Devon, Strophosoma melanogrammum (grasses) on 25th, Otiorhynchus singularis (fruiting shrubs) on 27th, with Ceutorhynchus typhae (Shepherd's Purse) on 13 May, Gorse Weevil Sitona striatellus on 14 May, Hadroplontus litura on Creeping Thistle on 11 Jun and the wood-boring species Euophryum confine on 2 Dec.

Ceutorhynchus typhae - Kevin Rylands

New leafminers were Orchestes hortorum and O. quercus (oak) on 1 Jul, Anoplus ruboris (alder) and Tachyerges salicis (willow) on 21 Aug. 

Orchestes hortorum (occupied/vacant) - Kevin Rylands

No new ladybird in the ten species recorded this year. The first of the year, not surprisingly was a hibernating 7-spot on 5 Jan. The other species recorded in date order through the spring and summer, were 10-spot, Harlequin, 2-spot, Pointed-keeled Rhyzobius, 14-spot, 16-spot, 22-spot, Cream-streaked and 11-spot. Several species could be found predating the abundant Lupin Aphid, although the Cream-streaked was on an ornamental pine predating waxy aphids. 

11-spot Ladybird - Alan Keatley

There were nineteen species of Chrysomelidae (flea, leaf and seed beetles) were recorded. Most are small, colourful or metallic-looking and feed on plant leaves or roots. Two new species were recorded, Longitarsus ballotae, a horehound flea beetle on 15 Oct and Blue Willow Beetle Phratora vulgatissima on 6 Nov. Heather Beetle Lochmaea sutralis caused significant dieback on the Golf Course roughs and other species  recorded included Sea Rocket Flea Beetle Psylliodes marcida from 29 Apr, Thistle Tortoise Beetle Cassida rubiginosa from 5 Jul, Asparagus Beetle Crioceris asparagi from 14 Jul, and Bronze Leaf Beetle Chrysolina banksii on 19 May, although the latter is more numerous in autumn.

Asparagus Beetle Crioceris asparagi - Alan Keatley

Only six species of rove beetles, fast moving ground predators, were recorded this year, but identification of this abundant group is rarely possible in the field or from photos. Three new species were however identified, Paederus littoralis from 7 May, Stenus guttula on 11 Oct and Othius punctulatus on 16 Nov. The other three species were Paederus riparius on 26 May, Devil’s Coach Horse Staphylinus olens from the next day, and Philonthus politus on 18 Oct.

Paederus littoralis - Alan Keatley

In common with other groups some otherwise regular beetles were not recorded, with some species also much reduced in number. This was the case with one of the more obvious groups, the soldier beetles (Cantharidae), with five species recorded, one of which was new, Rhagonycha lignosa on 21 May. The Common Red Soldier Beetle Rhagonycha fulva, aka Hogweed Bonking Beetle, first emerged on 20 Jun but by then the Hogweed had mostly gone over. limiting the numbers seen.

Cantharis rustica - Alan Keatley

The longhorns (Cerambycidae) are another highly visible family with five species recorded Common Grammoptera G. ruficornis, Golden-haired Longhorn Leptura aurulentaFairy-ring Longhorn Pseudovadonia livida, Spotted Longhorn Rutpela maculata and Wasp Beetle Clytus arietis.

Golden-haired Longhorn Leptura aurulenta - Alan Keatley

A further 19 families were recorded during the year, five ground beetles including Broscus cephalotes and Paradromius linearis, the click beetle Agrypnus murinus, four scarab beetles including Dune Scarab Aegialia arenaria and Dune Chafer Anomala dubia, three false blister beetles Oedemera femoralis, O. lurida and the ubiquitous Thick-legged Flower Beetle O. nobilis.

Paradromius linearis - Alan Keatley

Others included, Lesser Stag Beetle Dorcus parallelipipedus, three darkling beetles; Lagria hirta, Opatrum sabulosum and Phylan gibbus, three carrion beetles; Common Sexton Beetle Nicrophorus vespilloidesShore Sexton Beetle Necrodes littoralis and Silpha tristis, plus Brackish Whirligig Gyrinus caspius and Red-headed Cardinal Pyrochroa serraticornis.

Lesser Stag Beetle Dorcus parallelipipedus - Alan Keatley

Amongst these families were the following new species; Common Pollen Beetle Brassicogethes (Meligethes) aeneus on 2 Apr, a marsh beetle Contacyphon padi on 15 May, a minute brown scavenger beetle Cartodere nodifer on 10 Jul, Black-streaked Dung Beetle Nimbus contaminatus on 6 Oct, a water scavenger beetle Sphaeridium bipustulatum on 8 Oct, and the ground beetle Harpalus latus on 13 Nov.

Black-streaked Dung Beetle Nimbus contaminatus - Alan Keatley

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