Sunday 19 May
Ground beetle (Bembidion nigropiceum)
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Ground beetle fact file
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Ground beetle description
Unlike many members of the Bembidion genus, the largest genus of ground beetles in Britain, this blackish ground beetle does not have a metallic sheen (2). It is small, flattened and rather parallel-sided compared to other Bembidion species (4).
- Length: less than 7.5 mm (2)
Ground beetle biology
This ground beetle has an annual life cycle (it takes a year to complete); larvae are present in summer, the adults hibernate through the winter and emerge the following spring, when they are believed to breed (3); they are seen between March and June (5). Both the adults and larvae are predatory, taking small insects. It is thought that this species spends much of its time below ground (3) and is often found deep within shingle (4).Top
Ground beetle range
Found around the coast of southern Britain between Kent and Pembrokeshire. Elsewhere it occurs in Europe on the Mediterranean coast and along the English Channel (3).Top
Ground beetle habitatTop
Ground beetle status
Classified as Nationally Scarce in Great Britain (3).Top
Ground beetle threatsTop
Ground beetle conservation
As a UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species, a Species Action Plan has been published for this beetle, which aims to maintain the current range of the species. At a number of known sites, this species occurs within Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) or National Nature Reserves (NNRs), and therefore receives a degree of legal protection (3). Furthermore, English Nature has incorporated Bembidion nigropiceum in its Species Recovery Programme.Top
Find out more
For more on English Nature's Species Recovery Programme see:
Information authenticated by Dr Martin Luff of the School of Biology, University of Newcastle, with the support of the British Ecological Society:
- A winter survival strategy characteristic of some mammals in which an animal's metabolic rate slows down and a state of deep sleep is attained. Whilst hibernating, animals survive on stored reserves of fat that they have accumulated in summer. In insects, the correct term for hibernation is 'diapause', a temporary pause in development and growth. Any stage of the lifecycle (eggs, larvae, pupae or adults) may enter diapause, which is typically associated with winter.
- Stage in an animal's lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
- National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (September 2002) http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nbn/
- Lindroth, C. H. (1974) Handbooks for the identification of British insects. Volume IV. Part 2: Coleoptera, Carabidae. The Royal Entomological Society of London, London.
- UKBAP Species Action Plan. (September 2002) http://www.ukbap.org.uk
- Luff, M. (2004) Pers. comm.
- Hymen, P. S. and Parsons, M.S. (1992) A review of the scarce and threatened Coleoptera of Great Britain: Part 1. JNCC, Peterborough.
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