Meloe brevicollis

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Meloe brevicollis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Meloidae
Genus: Meloe
Species: M. brevicollis
Binomial name
Meloe brevicollis
Panzer, 1793

Meloe brevicollis is a European oil beetle. It is also known as the "short-necked oil beetle".

It had been thought that the beetle had been extinct in the UK since the 1940s, due to intensive farming. However, in 2007 a small population was discovered in south of Devon.[1]

In 2010, 40 beetles were found on four sites on the Hebridean island of Coll. The beetle is flightless and has parasitic young that depend on solitary nesting bees for survival, raising the question of how it arrived on the island. Jeanne Robinson, the curator of entomology at Glasgow Museums said: "They are very vulnerable to disturbance and what the Devon and Coll sites have in common is that they have been relatively undisturbed for a long time.... We are hoping there is the potential to do some genetic analysis to see where the population came from." There are records of the beetle being found in Ireland and it is possible the colony had been dispersed from there.[2]

In 2014 staff from RSPB Scotland and Buglife traveled to Coll to carry out an extensive survey for the beetle. Incredibly they found over 150 beetles and 2 previously unknown sites for the species making Coll the most important site for the beetle in the UK.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Beetle re-emerges after 60 years". BBC News. 2007-03-19. 
  2. ^ Ross, John (16 July 2010) "Beetle mania as 'extinct' insect found on Scots isle". The Scotsman. Retrieved 19 July 2010.