Rare beetle foundat reserve
An endangered beetle has been discovered at RSPB Scotland Loch Leven, making the nature reserve one of only two places it has been recorded in Scotland.
Thanatophilus dispar is a scavenging beetle that feeds on rotten fish and it is classed as critically endangered in the UK and globally rare.
The beetle was discovered by the assistant warden, Anna Jemmett, who thought that the wetland habitat and lochshore had the potential to provide a home for this beetle.
A survey was conducted using ten pitfall traps with rotten haddock as a lure, which were positioned around the nature reserve in the evenings and checked the following morning.
A total of 11 of the beetles were found in three different locations around the reserve, all of which were on sandy beaches at the edge of Loch Leven.
Anna said: “I put a piece of delicious rotten fish into the bottom of the trap, hoping the putrid smell would entice the rare beetles in and it worked! It is a very special little beetle and we are lucky to have it here on reserve.”