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East Suffolk (VC 25)
The cucujid Leptophloeus clematidis [RDB1] (Cucujidae) was recently rediscovered at a single site in East Suffolk. The species is found in small dead stems of Traveller's Joy Clematis vitalba where it predates the bark beetle Xylocleptes bispinus (Scolytidae) and is best looked for during April.
Suffolk was the last remaining stronghold in the British Isles of the weevil Apion brunnipes [RDB1] (Apionidae), being found at Frostenden in 1937. The species is associated with cudweeds Filago and Gnaphalium spp., especially Common Cudweed Filago vulgaris, and should be sought between July and October.
West Suffolk (VC 26)
Entomological interest in West Suffolk is mainly limited to a few remnant areas of sandy grassland in the Breckland which somehow managed to avoid coniferisation. Also of great interest here is the water beetle fauna in the pools ('pingoes') formed from the melting of underground lens-shaped blocks of ice after the last Ice Age.
The small carabid Bradycellus csikii [RDB I] (Carabidae) has its British headquarters in the Suffolk Breckland, where it may be found in dry litter and under stones between March and October. Sandy roadsides near Wangford have been especially productive, but the species has also been found on clay soils at Welches Dam in Cambridgeshire, and it may be more widespread than the few records suggest. The rare carabid Amara fusca [RDB1] (Carabidae) is established on sandy roadsides and nature reserves between Lakenheath and Brandon, here at the only defiinite site for the species in the British Isles. It is probably associated with Breckland Mugwort Artemisia campestris and should be sought in the late summer. The only post-1970 British record of Harpalus froelichi [RDB2] (Carabidae) is from the Breckland and in the British Isles the ground beetle Cymindis macularis [RDB1] (Carabidae) is confined to this area. It has been found near Icklingham, Barton Mills and Thetford, but appears to be very rare.
The scarabaeid Diastictus vulneratus [RDB2] (Scarabaeidae) is confined to Breckland in the British Isles, where it is usually found in rabbit burrows.
Puffball fungi Lycoperdon spp. in the Breckland is the habitat of two nationally rare and little-known species of beetle. Lycoperdina succincta [RDB2] (Endomychidae) is still known from a few sites, with adults being found in decaying puffballs in the autumn and winter. The only British specimens of Caenocara affinis [RDB I] (Anobiidae) were reared from larvae found in Lycoperdon found at Barton Mills in 1917, but there have been no more recent records from anywhere in the British Isles.
Another rare anobiid, Hemicoelus nitidus [RDB I] (Anobiidae), has been found on Grey Poplar Populus at Icklingham in July; the species is otherwise only known from Windsor, Berkshire.
Two chrysomelids are probably now confined to West Suffolk in the British Isles. Pashford Poors' Fen is now the only known site for Cryptocephalus exiguus [RDB1] (Chrysomelidae), which formerly occurred across East Anglia north to Lincolnshire. The species is probably associated with wetland thistles Cirsium and should be sought in June and July. The flea beetle Psylliodes sophiae [RDB3] (Chrysomelidae) may now be confined to Breckland roadsides in the British Isles, where it is found on Flixweed Descurainia sophia from June to August.
Apion brunnipes [RDB1] (Apionidae), was also found at Freckenham in 1937 (see East Suffolk, above).
County recorder: , 3 Church Lane, Brantham, Suffolk CO11 1PU
A great deal of information on Breckland wildlife, including a page especially devoted to the beetles, can be obtained at the Breckland Recorder web site (http://www.brecklandrecorder.co.uk).