Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Thrill of the Chase

Work commitments to me to Cannock Chase today, on a site visit to look around some of the heathland restoration areas. This gave a bit of opportunity for some beetling, as we looked at the ongoing restoration work, and little green things kept crawling across the path!

One of these beetles was this Green Tiger Beetle Cicindella campestris. I think this is a wonderful insect, but one that often catches people out. If you look at the pictures in an identification guide you expect this to be quite a large insect, with its beautiful architecture. When you see it you realise it is quite tiny, only coming in at 15mm long. It is not a common species, but is very characteristic of heathland.

Green Tiger Beetle Cicindella campestris

Green Tiger Beetle Cicindella campestris

The other beetle was this ground beetle Poecilus cupreus. Thanks to Mark Gurney, who saw my picture, questioned my original identification and got this to the right family. Narrowing it down to a Poecilus, I was able to get it to species level. The ground beetles are a very difficult group with many similar species, and a lot more practice is needed!

Poecilus cupreus

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