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. Join a beach clean
  2. Organise a beach clean
  3. Visit the beachwatch website
  4. Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2019

Did you know?…

MCS launched its Beachwatch programme in 1994

It’s estimated that one rubbish truck load of plastic litter enters the ocean every minute

Why not join a beach clean ... or organise one?

To date, our beach clean volunteers have removed 6 million pieces of litter from our beaches and collected marine litter data to support our campaigns for cleaner seas and beaches.

Learn more and join a beach clean