Walking on water-lilies

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday 9 July 2013 21:34

After the removal of the carp from the lake at Woods Mill, we are drying the lake out for the summer before allowing water back in in the winter. As it has been so hot lately, I decided to have a look on the exposed mud. Elaphrus cupreus, Agonum marginatum and various Bembidions were running around all over the place. I was looking at the huge tubers of the water-lilies and was amazed at how resilient they were to drying out, many of the water-lilies were still in flower when I suddenly saw a large purple beetle flying around the water-lilies. I managed to catch it in my hand and soon realised I had caught a reed beetle that I hadn't seen before. It was the nationally scarce (Nb) Donacia crassipes, a specialist of water-lilies that is usually difficult to see without a boat and has very few records in the SxBRC database. Interestingly, I carried out an invertebrate survey of the lake prior to the carp removal. We used a boat, I specifically targeted the water-lilies and despite three visits, we didn't record this beetle once! That said, I think it is likely the species has always been there, just out of site and out of reach. Perhaps I missed the flight season?

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