Help the Blue Ground Beetle this Blue Monday

Public survey launches to help the rare Blue Ground Beetle in Devon and Cornwall.

Since 2005, the third Monday in January has been labelled as Blue Monday.  It is said to be the most depressing day of the year, but there’s positive blue news today as a new public survey is launched to help find more populations of the rare Blue Ground Beetle (Carabus intricatus).

Help blue beetles this Blue Monday

The Blue Ground Beetle is one of the UK’s rarest beetles, and is currently only known from 15 sites in Cornwall, Devon and South Wales. At up to 38mm in length, it is the UK’s largest ground beetle, and is given its name as a result of the beautifully marked and strikingly blue-coloured body. The beetles are mainly nocturnal and can be found at any time of year.

Blue Ground Beetles usually make their homes in damp Oak and Beech woodland. They can be found at night, clambering up the mossy trunks of trees in search of slugs, and tend to prefer areas with not much ground vegetation and lots of decaying wood. In Devon they are largely known from Dartmoor, and in Cornwall they can be found in the east of the county in some of the woodlands surrounding Bodmin and Bodmin Moor.

In 2022 there was exciting news when Blue Ground Beetles were found at two new sites on Dartmoor following surveys undertaken through the Dartmoor Blue Ground Beetle project. Buglife are now looking for some help from the people of Devon and Cornwall to see whether there might be any more of these beautiful beetles lurking out there in the wild woodlands of the South West.

Laura Larkin, Buglife Conservation Officer explains “We need help to find out where these amazing beetles live.  In the past, we have had records sent in of beetles found on woodland paths, and in log piles.  Have you ever seen a large beetle that you think might be a Blue Ground Beetle? If you have, please send us a photo and help us to learn more about where these beetles can be found.”.

Any records can be shared on Buglife’s Dartmoor Blue Ground Beetle project page.

Blue Ground Beetles are quite tricky to identify and can be easily confused with many other beetles, including some of their smaller, more commonly seen relatives such as the Violet Ground Beetle (Carabus violaceus) and Ridged Violet Ground Beetle (Carabus problematicus). To help with identifying any images prior to sending them in, Buglife have produced a Blue Ground Beetle Identification Guide which can be found on our website through our Blue Ground Beetle Hunt web page

Laura Larkin added “It would be absolutely fantastic if through this survey we were able to find new populations of the Blue Ground Beetle. There is still so much we don’t know about these beetles, including exactly where they can be found, and any assistance the local community could give us would be an enormous help”.

This survey is part of Buglife’s Dartmoor Blue Ground Beetle project, funded by Papillon Gin and the Waitrose Community Matters in-store scheme.

If you’re interested in learning more about Buglife’s Dartmoor Blue Ground Beetle Project and would like to get involved please visit Dartmoor Blue Ground Beetle Project – Buglife projects

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