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Beauty and the beast – phase two of the Snowdon Leaf Beetle survey.

15 September 2015 by Paula

The study site from above

The study site from above

The entomology survey team returned to Snowdon on Friday 4th September for phase two of the Rainbow Leaf Beetle (Chrysolina cerealis) fieldwork. Tony Hunter, assistant Curator of entomology updates us on the latest search:

“Thankfully the weather was much improved this time, with only thin misty cloud to complain about and we quickly managed to find three larvae feeding on the food plant, Thymus polytrichus (wild Thyme).

Larva on Wild Thyme

Larva on Wild Thyme

This is definitive proof that the beetle is still alive and well – if a little less striking in its immature state!

 

We will be spending two more days in the field at the end of the month and are hoping to find the adult and also some new locations for the larvae. Our results will feed back to Natural Resources Wales to allow them to better protect the beetle and its habitat for the future.”

This is exciting news as prior to this trip this special insect had not been seen on Snowdon for over 20 years, so happily it looks as though this is not the ‘end of the rainbow’.

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