New Dutch beetle species discovery


Anillus caecus female, Verlengde Winkelberg, photo by Theodoor Heijerman

In the Dutch province Limburg, Portuguese workers are exploited.

Fortunately, there is also better southern Europe-related news from that province.

Translated from the Stichting Bargerveen in the Netherlands, Friday 4 October 2013:

Tiny blind beetle, new for the Netherlands

A new South European ground beetle species has been found in the Netherlands. It is only two millimeters. Eyes and wings are missing and the creature lives underground. In 2012, the first three specimens were caught in Bemelen (south Limburg). This year, it turned out that the beetles live in large parts of the Bemelerberg hills. The journal Entomologische Berichten reports so this week.

While sorting out ground level traps of the Verlengde Winkelberg hill in Bemelen in 2012 a very small (about two millimeters), yellow-brown, eyeless beetle was found. Research by beetle expert Ron Felix concluded this was a male Anillus caecus, a beetle species which had never been found before in the Netherlands.

In 2013 there was more research in the Bemelerberg hills about the local distribution of this beetle. In total, another five individuals were caught at different locations. This justifies the assumption that the species is actually present in a large part of the Bemelerberg hills. …

This southern European beetle is known from the southwest of France. Observations are from the northern slopes of the Pyrenees to central France. …

How these blind, wingless beetles have managed to reach the Netherlands is difficult to say. The most obvious cause may be that humans brought them, for example, with vines from southern France. However, the possibility of a natural population cannot be completely ruled out. This beetle species has a very cryptic, subterranean lifestyle about which almost nothing is known.

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