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Live carabids needed – can you help?

John Walters and I have been trying to assemble a complete collection of photographs of live British and Irish carabids. These are the species which we still haven’t managed to see alive. If you are lucky enough to find any of these, please send one or more specimens to John or I to be photographed.

  • Dyschirius chalceus (salt pans in Essex and the south-east)
  • Thalassophilus longicornis (riverine shingle)
  • Blemus discus (often comes to MV light)
  • Bembidion caeruleum (Dungeness)
  • Bembidion inustum (South Wales)
  • Bembidion testaceum (riverine shingle)
  • Pogonus luridipennis (upper saltmarsh in South Lincolnshire and North Norfolk)
  • Agonum chalconotum (Firth of Clyde, not seen since 1909 but worth a targeted search: here’s all the gen you’ll need)
  • Agonum scitulum (Medway estuary or Chippenham Fen)
  • Agonum versutum (Gloucestershire fens and floodplains; best found by tussocking in winter)
  • Amara praetermissa (Yorkshire colliery spoil-heaps the best bet)
  • Amara strenua (grazing marshes or flood debris in Kent/ Sussex)
  • Harpalus calceatus (only a few old records but probably still a rare, but overlooked, immigrant? See this review of all British records.)
  • Harpalus melancholicus (Stackpole Warren (tough to find there) or Bewl Water (one at MV light))
  • Ophonus cordatus (last seen on Salisbury Plain in 1996 by Brian Eversham; should still occur at Beachy Head (last recorded 1989 by Peter Hodge), at Red Cliff on the Isle of Wight (last recorded 1988 by Howard Mendel), at Sandwich Bay/ Deal sandhills (last recorded 1987 by Peter Hodge) and perhaps elsewhere on the south-east coast)
  • Ophonus melletii (comes to MV light, found on the Isle of Grain in 2010, still at Cheam (Surrey))
  • Ophonus parallelus (last seen at Rye Harbour)
  • Ophonus puncticollis (not reliably recorded in recent decades)
  • Ophonus stictus (oolite quarries of Northants)
  • Chlaenius tristis (common at its sole UK site on the Lleyn Peninsula)
  • Lebia cyanocephala (Poors Field, Thursley)

Posting carabids

Carabids can be kept alive in a fridge for several days if not weeks. They should be put in a sealed container such as a film canister, with a few small holes for ventilation. The container should be filled with damp tissue – damp but not so wet that they might get trapped in water and drown. A sliver of apple will help to keep their strength up. They can be posted in the same container, suitably padded.

Find a missing species!

Many of the carabids in the list above are seriously neglected species which could really do with someone dedicating some time to finding them, understanding their ecological requirements and conserving remaining populations. If you want to take up the challenge of finding any one of these species, I will provide all the information I can from the Ground Beetle Recording Scheme database, etc.

1 Comment

  1. Adrian dutton says:

    Dear mark any chance of the template, I may try and do a similar job with my Nottinghamshire carabids. I’m afraid I only have one specimen of Blemus discus in my own collection, attracted to light by the banks of the river Trent several years ago. if I get another I’ll gladly send one.

    Ps excellent website.

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