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Old 03-21-2007, 01:49 PM   #46
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Aethyr Engineering

Join Date: Apr 2001
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Beetle re-emerges after 60 years
A beetle thought to be extinct in the UK since the 1940s has been rediscovered in south Devon.
The short-necked oil beetle was found by an amateur entomologist during a wildlife survey on National Trust (NT) land between Bolt Head and Bolt Tail.

The beetles were last recorded at Chailey Common, Sussex in 1948.

Up to 40 of the insects, which survive by hitching rides on miner bees as larvae and then eating the bees' eggs, were found at the Devon site.
The beetle, which gets its name from the highly toxic oil secretions it produces when threatened, is also known as Meloe brevicollis.

The adult beetles, which live for about three months, lay up to 1,000 eggs in a burrow in soft or sandy soil and eggs hatch in the following spring.

Once they have hatched the young larvae crawl up on to vegetation, often lying in wait in flowers, for an unsuspecting mining bee to give them a lift to the bee's nest.
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