Archive for September 25th, 2005

25th September 2005, Sunday

Dead-wood Darkling

While sorting through fence posts at Lime Kiln Cottage today, I came across an individual of Helops caeruleus (below). This is a so-called darkling beetle, and is related to the meal-worm, a pest of flour and cereals whose larvae are easy to rear and bred as food for various small animals. In contrast, Helops larvae occur in dead wood, and this individual probably emerged from old railway sleepers kept at Lime Kiln Cottage. A rather uncommon species in Britain, this was only the fourth record for the reserve.
Helops caeruleus