Copris lunaris, a beautiful Jersey beetle makes the front cover
In September 2015, Sally-Ann visited Jersey and discovered Nimbus affinis, a first for Jersey. She also made acquaintance with Roger Long, Chairman of Entomology for Société Jersiaise. This encounter sparked a Team visit to Jersey in May 2016 to survey the Island’s Scarabaeoidea. During our seven day stay, we added an amazing 285 records to the Jersey dataset, including species new to the Island such as Trichonotulus scrofa and Euorodalus coenosus. Meeting the Horned dung beetle Copris lunaris, was undoubtedly a highlight of the trip. This species has now become extinct on the British mainland so it was a real privilege to see it doing well on Jersey. Our gratitude and thanks go to The Société, The States of Jersey Ecological Trust Fund and the many individuals who supported our visit.
The field work was in addition to verifying and curating the Société Jersiaise Collection, data mining records and performing literature searches. All this hard work culminated in the publication of the Review and Preliminary Checklist of the Scarabaeoidea of Jersey in the Société Jersiaise Annual Bulletin published in December. The cover photo, seen below is a beautiful image of Copris lunaris by OUMNH’s Katherine Child. Such an fantastic way to end an incredible year for Team DUMP.
Dung beetle Detectives Roadshow is a go! Thanks to the British Ecological Society
At the end of May 2016, we were absolutely delighted to be awarded an outreach grant from the British Ecological Society. This wonderful news has enabled DUMP to launch a touring educational event stand that will visit a number of locations throughout the South-west region of the U.K. during the summer of 2016. The Dung beetle Detectives Roadshow will highlight UK dung beetle biology, ecology, ecosystem services and identification. Basic beetle anatomy will also be covered. Live and preserved adult and larval dung beetles, microscopes and a range of demonstration survey equipment will be available too. Farm hosted events will include a guided walk to hunt for dung beetles whenever possible.
The BES was established in 1913 and has approximately 5,000 members worldwide. The Society is funded through income from subscriptions, publications and its investment portfolio. It is an independent organisation that receives little outside funding. The Society mission is to generate, communicate and promote ecological knowledge and solutions in order to realise their vision for a world inspired, informed and influenced by ecology. Membership is open to everyone with an interest in ecology. You can find out more about the BES on their website.
Head over to the Events page to see where we will be. Why not drop in at the Roadshow stand to meet the beetles or have a chat about the ecology and conservation of this hugely important group.
Aphodius quadrimaculatus is not extinct!
At the beginning of April, we were surveying a number of sites in the Forest of Dean looking for Aphodius fasciatus (this species has a woodland/scrub preference and had not been recorded in Gloucestershire for some time) when we came across a surprise find. A small patch of raised open grassland with a few sheep grazing caught our eye on the drive between two planned sites. Never to miss an opportunity, we quickly parked the car!
Lo and behold five minutes later, Ceri was thinking to herself “No, it surely can’t be” as she gazed at the small black beetle in her hands that had four quite distinct red patches on its elytra. Continuing the search revealed a further six of these beetles along with a number of other species. Not long after Darren returned from his hunt for A. fasciatus in the wooded area nearby and clapped his eyes on it too and the excitement began in earnest. Yes, it was indeed Aphodius quadrimaculatus! It had never been recorded in VC33 (West Gloucestershire) and the last record in neighbouring VC34 (East Gloucestershire) was in the 1820’s. The most recent record of this species for the whole of the U.K. was in the 1980’s and on this occasion only a single specimen was found. A full report of this amazing discovery will soon be published.
Team DUMP were busy during 2015 too. Take a look at the following reports and articles to see what we have been up to.