Eggs are laid into the leaf stalks of Lundy cabbage. The white larvae mine the leaf-stalks and eventually enter the plant stems (4). They emerge in late summer and then pupate in the soil. Adults feed on the leaves of the Lundy cabbage (4).
A British endemic (occurs no-where else), this beetle is known only from the island of Lundy in the Bristol Channel, where its range reflects the distribution of its sole host plant, Lundy cabbage (Coincya wrightii). This plant is also endemic to Lundy, and is restricted to the south-east of the island, where conditions are more sheltered (4).
Lundy cabbage (and therefore the beetles that depend on it) is threatened by the introduced weed plant Rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum), which supplants the Lundy Cabbage by out-competing it (4). Introduced mammals also pose a threat; domestic sheep, goats and rabbits eat the cabbage, and have restricted it to steep cliffs and other inaccessible areas (4).
Both Lundy cabbage and the bronze Lundy cabbage flea beetle are listed as priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) (3). They are also included in English Nature's Species Recovery Programme; the National Trust (leading the action plan) is co-ordinating conservation action with English Nature, The University of Leeds and the Landmark Trust (4). Research into the distribution and life-history of the bronze Lundy cabbage flea beetle has been undertaken, monitoring is carried out annually, and rhododendron is being cleared regularly, even from dangerous steep cliff faces (4).
The UK Biodiversity Action Plan for this species is available at UK BAP.
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