South Scotland

Rare beetles rediscovered in Scotland

Ten Spotted beetle Image copyright Scott Shanks

Entomologists have welcomed the rediscovery of two rare, spotted beetles in Scotland, 17 years after they were last recorded.

Each is believed to be found only at a single location - one in Dumfries and Galloway, the other in Perthshire.

The finds were made as part of 10th anniversary celebrations of the wildlife charity, Buglife Scotland.

Beetle spotters trained in workshops funded by Scottish Natural Heritage hit the jackpot almost immediately.

First they found the six-spotted pot beetle at the the Kirkconnel Flow National Nature Reserve, near Dumfries.

Then the 10-spotted pot beetle turned up at Black Wood of Rannoch in Perthshire.

'Amazing wee beetles'

Two other scarce pot beetles, the two-spotted version and the black birch, have also been found.

Only a few individuals were identified in each case, but management plans are being prepared for landowners to try to protect and grow the populations.

Buglife Scotland's Conservation Officer Dr Scott Shanks said: "It's a real dream come true to find both of these amazing wee beetles.

"Thanks to our sharp-eyed and freshly-trained volunteers who were the first to spot them, and many thanks also to pot beetle expert Dr Ross Piper for his invaluable advice.

"Only a few individuals were found at each site, in limited areas of suitable habitat.

"Specific management recommendations are now being prepared for landowners to try to protect these rare spotty beetles."

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