First for Britain on a Sussex Wildlife Trust reserve!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday 1 February 2011 11:52

This is Quedius lucidulus and it's a species of rove beetle new to Britain that was discovered by Mark Telfer during a deadwood invertebrate survey of the Sussex Wildlife Trust reserve The Mens  that was funded by the West Weald Landscape Partnership. Read Mark's blog with all the details and thanks to Mark for the photo. Rove beetles are a difficult group, there are more species of rove beetle in the UK than there are species of macro moth! This is a remarkable find and the fallen dead tree where the three specimens were trapped supported many more rare and scarce invertebrates including a single specimen of Oxylaemus cylindricus, thought to be extinct in the UK since the 19th Century until it was found by Mark at Ebernoe Common (another SWT reserve) in 2009. We had great expectations from the fallen Beech from the moment we set eyes on it but I don't think anyone expected it to be quite so productive.

The Saproxylic Quality Index for the site is 476.3, making The Mens the 39th best site for deadwood beetles in the country and the 4th best in Sussex. An Index of Ecological Continuity of 54 shows the site is of national importance for these fascinating invertebrates. In total, 10 RDB species and 38 nationally scarce species were recorded at The Mens during the survey!  

The site is currently a 'non-intervention' site but it's clear that this method of management is not ideal for invertebrates at this site and some work is suggested in the report with an emphasis on creating more open space and nectar sources within the woodland. In addition to this, we need to be better at liaising with our neighbours about how important the resource of deadwood is to these invertebrates. What other exciting finds await discovery in the West Weald?...

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