In common with many invertebrates that depend on dead wood habitats, very little is known of the biology and ecology of this rare and elusive species. It is thought that the larvae feed on wood (3), and adults have been recorded in Britain from June to August, October and December (1).
This weevil is found in the red-rot of both fallen and standing old oak trees and other deciduous trees in parkland habitat. It is thought to be associated with the brown wood ant (Lasius brunneus) (2).
Until fairly recently, dead and decaying wood was not widely recognised as an important habitat. Dead wood was often removed or ‘tidied’ from sites and veteran trees have frequently been destroyed. A further threat has been the widespread loss or destruction of parkland and old woodland as a result of conversion to agricultural land and other changes in land-use (2).
A group Species Action Plan has been produced under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) for 10 species of beetle that depend on dead wood habitats (‘saproxylic’ beetles). This plan aims to maintain all current populations. Management measures at Windsor Forest and Windsor Great Park have been altered to retain dead wood (2).
Conservation efforts aimed at invertebrates that are dependent on dead wood habitats are often hindered by the lack of knowledge of the ecology of these species. CABI Biosciences is currently coordinating research into the ecology of 12 rare dead wood beetle species (3). A study on dead wood invertebrates and their conservation in the UK commissioned by English Nature and carried out by CABI Biosciences has highlighted the need for further research into the ecology and life-history of these species (3), which will aid in guiding conservation measures.
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