Saproxylic weasel

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 13 May 2012 20:46

I went to Cowdray Park today to look for deadwood beetles with Sarah Patton (10th place on the pan-species rankings). We found this Colydium elongatum under Beech bark which was a tick for me. Last year at Cowdray I found a single elytron high up in a spider's web in an oak tree and presented it to Mark Telfer who recognised it instantly. Nice to see this RDB3 species in the flesh. It's a predator of smaller saproxylic beetles (it helps to eat things smaller than you) and it gets around the problem of getting into small holes in a similar way to stoats and weasels. It's the same diameter as its food but is much longer.

I spotted the Upright Chickweed, I could not see any at all last year despite a thorough search.
However, most exciting of all was a large black and red Ampedus found under Beech bark. We recorded Ampedus cardinalis there last year in the big old red-rotten oaks. I think this is going to be Ampedus cinnabarinus but I can't be sure for now. It would be a great find if it is this species, both new to the site and my list. I end the day on 3915 species.

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