Help us protect the rare strandline beetle

Erin O'Neill By: Erin O'Neill
Date posted: 29 July 2019

If you’ll be taking part in a beach clean any time soon, we’d like to alert you to watch out for the rare strandline beetle, now extinct in England, but known to be found in South West Wales from Llangennith on Gower, to Pendine in Carmarthen Bay.

Beetle

Please be extra vigilant for this beetle in these areas to ensure populations are maintained. If you find any on the beach, during a beach clean while removing man-made litter, please don’t handle them. They are particularly vulnerable to disturbance of beach debris, due to their habit of resting underneath logs, driftwood and other beach flotsam, leading them to get squashed when these items are moved.

To avoid squashing the beetle, logs should be placed next to the beetle rather than on top of it so that the beetle can find its own way underneath.

The strandline beetle is a fast-moving ground beetle with a characteristic colouring and markings. It is classified as endangered and is associated with strandlines on sandy beaches backed by dunes. Adults are nocturnal and are thought to feed almost exclusively on sand hoppers. The beetle is now extinct in England, with losses thought to be partly the result of beach cleaning operations.

To maintain populations of the beetle, it is advised that people avoid unnecessary disturbance of the adults and maintain the habitats with logs, driftwood, seaweed and other natural debris.

Actions you can take

  1. Organise a beach clean
  2. Join a beach clean
  3. Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2018
  4. Visit the beachwatch website

Did you know?…

To date, our beach cleans have removed over 11 million pieces of litter

Globally, plastic litter has reached every part of the world’s oceans

MCS launched its Beachwatch programme in 1994

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