Rare bug found in east of England

A rare weevil, never before seen in Eastern England, has been discovered at RSPB Snape nature reserve during recent survey work.The weevil, which has the scientific name of Procas granulicollis, and measures only about 4mm in length, is thought to be endemic to the UK.

A rare weevil, never before seen in Eastern England, has been discovered at RSPB Snape nature reserve during recent survey work.

The weevil, which has the scientific name of Procas granulicollis, and measures only about 4mm in length, is thought to be endemic to the UK. It has previously been found mainly in Wales and Southern England. It was discovered at Snape Warren, part of the RSPB Snape reserve, on May 6 by entomologist Nigel Cuming whilst he was surveying for rare insects.

Nigel was monitoring a large population of the nationally scarce hemipteran bug Aphanus rolandri when he spotted something different out of corner of his eye. “I knew immediately what it was as I've been looking out for this rare insect on the Suffolk coast. Even so, it was a welcome surprise to discover several individuals at Snape Warren.”

Nigel continued, “The habitat at Snape Warren is ideal for Procas granulicollis which favours areas with lots of climbing corydalis, especially where it grows beneath bracken. In fact, Snape Warren is a superb place for insects generally, no doubt in part due to the effects of the RSPB's management. Insects have certainly been a major beneficiary of the reinstated traditional heathland grazing, using Exmoor ponies.”

This is not the first time Nigel has discovered interesting insects in Suffolk. In September 2007 he found the first wheat bug, Nysius huttoni in the Suffolk at RSPB North Warren. This New Zealand endemic, which is considered to be a pest species in the UK, is now common in places on the Suffolk coast.