Monday, 28 July 2008

A Crucifix Ground Beetle?

Photograph: Copyright David Gill 2008
(click photo to enlarge)

My husband, David, and I were out walking along a footpath in a wood near the Swansea Valley in South Wales, UK on a sunny Saturday afternoon, 26 August 2008 at about 4pm, when we came across this beetle. The beetle was 2-3 metres from the river bank, and was moving about among the dead leaves at the base of a tree. There were very small black insects scuttling about in the vicinity (and the photograph seems to show a dead mouse, which we had not noticed).

I would love to identify the beetle, and would be grateful for any expert assistance here: do drop me a post on the blog if you can help with the identification. When and where, I wonder, was the most recent sighting in Wales?

I looked on Google Images, and began to wonder whether it could be a Crucifix Ground Beetle. I gather that these have been found at Pembrey, South Wales, in the past; but that they are rare. I also looked on the excellent ARKive site.

See also:
(I apologise if this post has changed very slightly: I lost my original text while I was posting comments!).

For wildlife in Wales, see Wales Biodiversdity Partrnership.
For insects, see BugLife.
Jul 27 (2 days ago)

Wood Mouse has left a new comment on your post "A Crucifix Ground Beetle?":

Hi while I am not an expert, that sure does look like one to me. Also add to the visual record, your description of the habitat sounds right too. Not that there is that much known about the beetle, no one knows what its habitat requirements are but these are the same conditions that the National Trust Entomologist found for the population in Wicken Fen and are the same conditions here in Chopwell Wood.

It is likely that there are other populations out there, they dont think they are lost as they know where they are, its the Entomologists that have lost them.

Well personally I think its fantastic news and well done you for taking the time to look it up.

National Biodiversity Network Gateway website feedback (2 hours ago)


Thank you for your sighting and the accompanying information. I have
forwarded it to one of my colleagues who happens to be a beetle specialist.
We will get back to you as soon as possible.


Sent: 26 July 2008 23:16
Hi Caroline,
I've posted the link on Chorley & District Natural History Society's web
page. So hopefully they'll ID the beetle. Mistlethrush (from the field book).

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