Rare English beetles helped by miniature cottages


Scarlet malachite beetle

From Wildlife Extra:

Miniature cottages prove the ideal nurseries for rare beetles

A special design of miniature ‘beetle cottage’ is helping to promote the survival of one of the UK’s rarest beetles.

For the first time a Scarlet Malachite Beetle (Malachius aeneus) has emerged from a larvae found in one of these special cottages this summer.

The small but handsome beetle is not only incredibly rare, it is rather mysterious.

The beetle is found mainly in Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hampshire, although it was once found in counties across the south and east of England.

The reason for its decline is not known, but is thought to be caused by general habitat loss and intensive farming practices.

The adult beetles appear at the beginning of end of April/May, feeding on flowers in meadows and overgrown hedgerows, often in the vicinity of thatched/timbered cottages during the summer months.

As this traditional roofing material is becoming increasingly uncommon, conservation charity Buglife set out to establish substitute nesting sites in key areas in Essex to see if these amazing bugs would take up residence.

And sure enough, they have!

Vicky Kindemba, Buglife’s Conservation Delivery Manager, says: “The innovative use of cottage nurseries could help us to ensure the survival of this mesmerising species.

“Hopefully we can now help and inspire people to build more cottages in important meadows for the beetle.”

The project was funded by Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust and run in collaboration with natural history company Lifeforms, that co-designed the cottages with Buglife.

Ian Hughes of Lifeforms, and a Scarlet Malachite expert, says: “This exciting news confirms that the cottages work!

Scarlet malachite beetle cottage, photo Buglife/PA

“The Scarlet Malachite Beetle is in desperate need of our help to ensure its survival and this is an important first step in understanding how we can make this happen.”

This success gives entomologists a solid foundation to build upon to help understanding of the beetle’s fascinating ecology.

For more information about the Scarlet Malachite Beetle and to help with the Buglife survey click here.

Ladybugs mating, video


This video shows a ladybug couple mating on a compost container in the Netherlands.

Pieter Vonk made this video.

Dung beetle rolls dung ball, video


This video shows a dung beetle rolling a dung ball; in Nationaal Park Veluwezoom in the Netherlands.

Stag beetles fighting, video


This video is about two stag beetles fighting.

Everdien van der Bijl made this video in Laag-Soeren in Gelderland province in the Netherlands.

Stag beetles in the Netherlands: here.

Dung beetles prefer horse dung


This video is called True Facts About The Dung Beetle.

Translated from the FREE Nature conservationists in the Netherlands:

Monday, July 20th, 2015

An inventory of dung beetles in May and June at the Rozenburg Peninsula nature reserve shows a greater diversity of species of dung beetles in horse manure than in cattle manure. Not only were on average more species observed on horse manure, but also the numbers of beetles were higher.

Indonesian ant-like flower beetle discoveries


An ant-like flower beetle

From Wildlife Extra:

November 2011: International Anthicidae specialist Dr Dimitri Telnov, of the Entomological Society of Latvia, Riga, writes about the amazing discovery of 84 new ant-like flower beetles [species] in Wallacea and New Guinea.

Ladybugs change color, reacting to climate change: here.

Beetles, flowers and green woodpecker


Ladybird, 10 July 2015

This is a photo of a ladybug on milk parsley flowers which are finished. I think this is an eleven-spot ladybird. It is from 10 July 2015, when we were in the Heempark again.

Near the entrance, a chiffchaff singing.

A brown-banded carder bee on a thistle flower.

A group of long-tailed tits on a leafless tree, with a great tit not far away.

A lesser black-backed gull flies overhead.

Two muscovy ducks walking and grazing.

Sounds of a blackbird, a chaffinch, a jay and an edible frog.

Wild strawberries.

A blackcap sings.

A buff-tailed bumblebee.

Meadow brown butterflies.

Many of the flowers of two weeks ago here (orchids, bladder campion, greater yellow rattle) are gone now.

A green woodpecker calls, and flies from tree to tree.

Scarlet lily beetles, 10 June 2015

Orange-ish beetles mating on flowers. I would say: scarlet lily beetles. Or: cardinal beetles?

Purple flowers, 10 June 2015

Finally, purple flowers.