Welcome to my blog

This is where I post various musings about wildlife and ecology, observations of interesting species (often invertebrates)
and bits of research that grab my attention. As well as blogging, I undertake professional ecological & wildlife surveys
covering invertebrates, plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and some mammals, plus habitat assessment and management
. I don't work on planning applications/for developers. The pages on the right will tell you more about my work,
main interests and key projects, and you can follow my academic work here.

Thursday 18 November 2010

Another beetle new to Britain

I've recently received the latest edition of 'The Coleopterist' and in it is an article about a chrysomelid (leaf or 'flea' beetle) new to Britain (Harrison 2010). It's called Longitarsus symphyti and is a small (1.5-2.8 mm) yellowish beast which is found only on Common Comfrey Symphytum officinale. It has been found by the author in Berkshire in August 2009, so being in the south of England too, and knowing the location of an abundant comfrey patch nearby, I will be out looking for it next summer, although it appears to be wingless and therefore may be slow to arrive...

Until then, I'll be familiarising myself with its identification features that allow it to be separated from the similar L. pellucidus & L. succineus (it has a translucent cuticle allowing the dark gut contents to be seen, longer male antennae, more elongate antennal segments 4-11 with unicolorous segment 11, and a distinctive aedeagus median lobe & spermatheca). I'll need to as it will have to be added to my key to the British Chrysomelidae (more on that and the related recording scheme on my Chrysomelid page soon - a Chrysomelid website including online recording is on its way).

I don't have a pic of this species, but to see collection specimens, look here.


Harrison, T. (2010). Longitarsus symphyti Heikertinger, 1912 (Chrysomelidae) new to Britain. The Coleopterist 19(2): 41-43.

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