Andy Brown

Endangered beetle hides out at WWT

Posted: 14th September, 2018

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

Tansy beetles are a protected species in the UK. Threats such as loss of their food plant, summer flooding and mowing of riverbanks have contributed to their decline.

Hetty Grant, Warden, explains: “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.”

Both adult beetles and larva have been found, so it is hoped that this fragile population has gained a foothold along the Ouse Washes.

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