Rare water beetle spotted at Blakeney Point

The Great Silver Beetle discovered on Blakeney Point. Picture: AJAY TEGALA

The Great Silver Beetle discovered on Blakeney Point. Picture: AJAY TEGALA - Credit: Archant

One of Britain's largest beetles has been spotted for the first time on Blakeney Point.

National Trust seasonal ranger Paul Nichols discovered a Great Silver Water Beetle while checking for moths earlier this month.

The rare beetle (hydrophilus piceus), about 5cms long, has mostly been recorded south of The Wash, with just a handful of sightings further north, in Yorkshire.

Ajay Tegala, coastal ranger with the trust at Blakeney, said they had set a moth trap one night after spotting a red underwing moth which had come across the sea.

When they checked the next morning, they were surprised and pleased to find the beetle beside the trap, possibly attracted by the light.

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'Paul recognised it instantly. He sent out a few emails and got it confirmed,' said Mr Tegala.

'It was quite exciting - the size and the way it looked and the fact that it's the first at Blakeney Point.'

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The freshwater beetle had a hard oval case, was black with a silverish sheen and had two barbs on its underside.

The species was first recorded in north Norfolk in May 2012 at Manor Farm Ponds, Briston. Another was spotted in October 2012 at East Ruston. There has also been a sighting at Cranwich pits in Breckland.

Have you made an unusual wildlife sighting? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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