Rare Tansy beetle recorded in Norfolk for the first time

14 September, 2018 - 12:52
The rare Tansy beetle recorded in Norfolk. Picture: WELNEY WETLAND CENTRE

The rare Tansy beetle recorded in Norfolk. Picture: WELNEY WETLAND CENTRE

WELNEY WETLAND CENTRE

A rare beetle, thought to only exist in two locations in the UK, has been recorded for the first time at the Welney Wetland Centre in Norfolk.

The rare Tansy beetle recorded in Norfolk. Picture: WELNEY WETLAND CENTREThe rare Tansy beetle recorded in Norfolk. Picture: WELNEY WETLAND CENTRE

The Tansy beetle is said to be one of the smallest species on the nature reserve but experts say as far as beetles go “it is one of the chunkiest around”.

The UK protected Tansy beetle was thought to exist at just two sites in the UK, but has now been recorded for the first time in Norfolk, at the Welney Wetland Centre.

Hetty Grant, reserve warden, said: “This beautiful beetle is about 10mm long, iridescent green with stripes of red and gold, it is lovely to see.

“It was thought to be restricted to just two sites in the UK, Woodwalton Fen and the River Ouse in York, so it was astonishing to have it found on our reserve by Steve Lane and Andy Brown.

“It is only found here in the whole of Norfolk, I’m really proud to have this species at WWT Welney.”

Steve Lane, Local Ecologist, said:‘We could never have expected to find this natural jewel in Norfolk. Its discovery here is unprecedented and puts The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and Welney specifically, at the forefront of invertebrate conservation in the UK.

“We now need to ensure that its future is secure at the site through considered research, management and monitoring of the population and its habitat.”

Several stages of the lifecycle have been recorded on the site, in the form of adult beetles and larva. It is hoped that this fragile population will gain a foothold along the Ouse Washes.

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