Species of the week- 19

Yet another two week gap since my last blog. I don’t like leaving it so long, but exams had to come first. I’m now home for a month, and although working, will try to blog more often! The species I’ve chosen this week is extra special to me, as it was the 3000th species (of anything and everything) that I’d seen in the UK. I found it for the first time last sunday. The weevil Neliocarus nebulosus.

 

Neliocarus
Neliocarus nebulosus

 

With its portly figure and plodding movements, I find it to be a rather friendly looking little weevil. Its identification isn’t ever so easy, but the features include: 3-4mm long, keeled elytral base, eyes asymmetrically curved to give a swept-back appearance and pronotum widest at or behind the middle.

This weevil is typically found on low growing plants, often near the roots, where it presumably feeds on the roots and/or foliage (I can’t find any specific information on its diet!). It is most frequent on light and sandy soils in fairly open habitats, such as heathland, or coastal grassland. I found my individual by beating Gorse bushes on a Cornish clifftop.

Neliocarus nebulosus is quite widespread in England and Wales, becoming rarer further North. It is almost absent from Scotland. It seems odd that a seemingly generalist beetle is quite rarely recorded. Though widespread, records are thin on the ground. The excellent new NBN atlas (replacing the NBN gateway) shows this well: https://species.nbnatlas.org/species/NHMSYS0020152778#overview

Another excellent feature of this new site is the records shown in each Vice-county. As you can see, West Cornwall is the best place to find the species! https://species.nbnatlas.org/species/NHMSYS0020152778#records

Though it may not look like the most exciting species, I’m very fond of it, and it marks a pan-species milestone!

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