This ground beetle is the only member of the genus Perileptus that occurs in central Europe (4). It is a small, flat beetle, and the legs, and central part of the wing cases (elytra) are paler than the rest of the dark brown body (2).
Historical records indicate that this species once had a widespread but scattered distribution in Britain extending from Cornwall to southern Scotland, reaching east to the Isle of Wight in the south and Yorkshire in the north (3). Unfortunately the species has been lost from many of these areas, and most records since 1970 are from Wales and around the Welsh borders, with recent sightings in Scotland and south Devon (3). In Europe, this beetle has a wide distribution (3).
Threats facing the habitat of this beetle include river engineering works, such as dredging, and straightening of the banks, flow control resulting from flood defence or damming, pollution by agricultural run-off, trampling of riverbanks by livestock, and the spread of introduced invasive plants, such as Himalayan balsam (Impatiens gladulifera) (3).
A grouped Species Action Plan has been produced for 6 species of river shingle beetles under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP). This plan aims to maintain the range of all listed species, and enhance the populations by 2010 (3).
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