Wednesday 22 May
Reed beetle (Donacia aquatica)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Reed beetle fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Reed beetle description
This is a spectacularly coloured beetle, having a metallic blue sheen over its whole body, and rainbow-like stripes down each wing case. The beetle has long legs and antennae.
- Body length: 6 mm
Reed beetle biology
The beetle, as its name suggests, is aquatic, with adults appearing in May and June. The larvae feed in air-filled galls on the submerged parts of plants, which grow along the edges of lakes.Top
Reed beetle range
The beetle is found all over Europe, and was once widespread but local in the UK. Today, however, it is only found in Sussex, Cumbria and the Scottish Highlands. There is also a recent record from Upper Lough Erne in Northern Ireland of a beetle collected in 1992.Top
Reed beetle habitat
This species is found on vegetation, preferably sedges, found at the margins of open water such as lakes and fens.Top
Reed beetle status
Classified as Rare in the UK.Top
Reed beetle threats
The obvious threats to this species are the loss of its wet habitat and disturbance of the marginal vegetation. However, some of its water bodies may have disappeared in the past and the enrichment of lakes by agricultural run-off is also a contributory factor.Top
Reed beetle conservation
Donacia aquatica is listed in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP), and included in English Nature's Species Recovery Programme. In at least three of the sites where it occurs, this beetle's habitat is safeguarded, as two are nature reserves and the Northern Irish site is an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI).
It may prove possible to re-introduce the beetle to sites in its former range if this proves practical. More information about the species' ecology and true status is also required. English Nature is supporting a PhD studentship under Dr Allan Stewart at Sussex University, which is due to complete in 2004.Top
Find out more
The UK BAP Species Action Plan is available at:
Information supplied by English Nature.
- Pair of sensory structures on the head of invertebrates.
- 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.
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.