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).
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).
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.
The UK Biodiversity Action Plan for this species is available at UK BAP.
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.
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