A New Arrival

A New Arrival

A good deal of my time over the last five years has been spent monitoring the invertebrates on the new saltmarsh and shingle habitats at Rye Harbour, sampling during the summer and spending a good part of the winter looking down a microscope and putting names to faces as it were. Earlier in the year I was sorting through the catches from early June 2015 with one of my volunteers, Jim Barrett, when we came across this little rove beetle, a tiny relative of the devil's coach-horse (unfortunately these little fellows need to be dissected to be identified, hence the rather 'distressed' appearance of the specimen). It belongs to a group of beetles called Euaesthetus, and as there are only three British species I expected to get an identification pretty sharpish. However, rather excitingly, it didn't fit any of the choices, and a little searching on the interweb suggested it was E. superlatus, a species which has been recorded from several countries in Europe, but up to that point had not been found in the UK. The next stage was to get the identification verified, so what transpired then was a little bit of entomological 'pass the parcel'. I sent the specimen on to Peter Hodge, the Sussex county recorder for beetles, who then gave it to Roger Booth of the Natural History Museum, probably the top man for rove beetles in the country. After a nail-biting wait, Roger got in contact last week to confirm that he agreed with the id and that this was indeed the first record of Euaesthetus superlatus for the UK!