Rare Crucifix ground beetle rediscovered in England


Panagaeus cruxmajor

From Wildlife Extra:

Very Rare Crucifix ground beetle rediscovered at Wicken Fen

May 2008. The Crucifix Ground beetle, one of the rarest beetles in the UK, has been rediscovered at the National Trust’s Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire after an absence of more than 50 years.

The Crucifix Ground Beetle, known as Panagaeus cruxmajor, is listed as an Endangered Species in the UK’s Red Data Book and is a priority for conservation in the UK BAP (the Government’s Biodiversity Action Plan).

Only 3 UK locations

Before the discovery at Wicken Fen the beetle was thought to survive at only three places in the UK, and at one of those it had not been seen for ten years. The eye-catching orange and black Crucifix Ground Beetle was last recorded at Wicken Fen in 1951, despite regular and widespread searches by experts.

Popular with collectors

The rare Crucifix Ground Beetle was considered a great prize by Victorian entomologists. Charles Darwin, a very keen collector of beetles, found the species ‘near Cambridge’ when he was a Cambridge University under-graduate in the 1820s.

Ozaena ground beetles likely have anatomical adaptations enabling them to parasitize ant nests throughout their life cycle, according to a study published January 16, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Wendy Moore from the University of Arizona, USA, and colleagues: here.

Elephant beetle: here.

New invasive beetle species, The Citrus Longhorn beetle, confirmed in the UK: here.

5 thoughts on “Rare Crucifix ground beetle rediscovered in England

  1. Pingback: Wicken Fen nature reserve online | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Birds in Britain, video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: South American beetles cleaning antennas, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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