Sunday 19 May
Ground beetle (Perileptus areolatus)
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Ground beetle fact file
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Ground beetle description
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).
- Length: 2.4 - 2.5 mm (2)
Ground beetle biology
Little is known of the ecology of this predatory species (3).Top
Ground beetle range
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).Top
Ground beetle habitatTop
Ground beetle status
Classified as Nationally Scarce in Great Britain (3)Top
Ground beetle threats
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).Top
Ground beetle conservation
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).Top
Find out more
For more on English Nature's Species Recovery Programme see:
Information authenticated by Adrian Fowles of the Countryside Council for Wales:
- In beetles and earwigs, the hard fore wings. They are held aloft when the insect flies, and are often coloured or patterned.
- 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
- UK BAP (September 2002) http://www.ukbap.org.uk
- Harde, K. W. (2000) A field guide in colour to beetles. Silverdale Books, Leicester.
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