The search for the Violet Click Beetle

Ampedus Cardinalis 2Last year we undertook a survey in relation to Veteran Ash pollards in the North Cotswolds at Clump farm. The intention was to understand the Bugs (Saproxylic  Invertebrates) that these trees support and we had some interesting results. These old trees provide niche habitats, and it is in these that the rarer insects survive.

Conditions weren’t kind to us last year. We found a few interesting beetles but not the elusive Violet Click Beetle that was our ultimate quarry, so this year we are currently repeating the survey.

Earlier this week our intrepid Volunteer Jean was lucky enough to be checking the traps and came across this little beauty. We had evidence that it had been around from a fragment of wing case found in the base of one of the trees a couple of years ago, so it is fantastic to find it is alive and resident.

It is a Red-winged Cardinal Click Beetle (Ampedus rufipennis), the larvae develop in white-rot that is found within the tree when fungi has removed the Lignin . The Beetle is sited as “Near Threatened” in the British Red Data List, it is associated with veteran trees ( in our case Ash trees). The collective data we now hold for this site and the status of some of the finds gives statuary requirements to the correct management of the trees at this property and the need to perpetuate the niche habitat required.

Ranger Martin



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