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Saturday, 3 June 2017

A rare beetle today...

With the minimum of preparation I set off on a vague search for the very rare and endangered Tansy Beetle Chrysolina graminis on the River Ouse around York.  It didn't help that I was searching for a plant with which I was not familiar, looking for a ragwort type plant with tight yellow flowers not even realising they do not flower until late summer....  Based on all that it was amazing that I did actually find the plant and some 30+ beetles.  What a cracking little beastie, a beautiful iridescent green and only c.10mm long!

River Ouse, near Fulford

Tansy plant in foreground

Tansy Beetle Chrysolina graminis 

mating pair

The Tansy Beetle was once widespread in the UK living in wetland areas, they are now found along the banks of a 30km stretch of the River Ouse around York, with a much smaller population recently discovered in Cambridgeshire.  In 2016 the York population was found to be c.40,000 individuals which sounds a lot, but when you consider how vulnerable the population is all in one small area that frequently floods this is a precarious situation.

Orange-tip butterfly

Cardinal Beetle Pyrochroa serraticornis 

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