Edmond's ground beetle (Tachys edmondsi)
|Size||Body length: 2 mm|
Classified as Rare in the British Red Data Book.
This ground beetle is brownish-black, and one of the smallest ground beetles in the UK. It takes its name from an eminent entomologist who first identified it.
This beetle is thought to be endemic to the UK, and has only been found in bogs in the New Forest. Very similar species have been found in south-west Europe and north Africa.
This species is restricted to bogs and wet areas. It has only ever been seen living in live Sphagnum moss.
Edmond's ground beetle is a predator, and is thought to feed on mites and springtails which live within the Sphagnum moss. It is found a few centimetres down within wet moss on the edge of bogs. Apart from this, little else is known of its behaviour and ecology.
It is not at all clear whether this insect is declining as a species. Although it is undoubtedly rare, so little is known about it that more information needs to be gathered before the facts of the beetle's status can be assessed.
Edmond's ground beetle is listed in both the UK Biodiversity Action Plans (UKBAPs), and English Nature's Species Recovery Programme (SRP). Having thought to be extinct in Britain, it was re-discovered in 1999 during an entomological survey funded by the European Life Project. The Natural History Museum in London was commissioned to identify the beetle and discovered it was practically identical to a species occurring in Europe and Africa. There is still some confusion as to whether this beetle will remain a separate UK species, but the Museum's work illustrates the importance of accurate taxonomical research.
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- Endemic: a species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- Taxonomical: the use of the scientific classification of organisms.