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The Clyde Isles (Arran, Bute and Cumbraes; VC 100) comprise a small group of biogeographically distinct islands situated in the Firth of Clyde in southwest Scotland. Despite their close proximity, each island has its own distinct character, but unfortunately only Arran has a well documented beetle fauna.
Arran is noteworthy for a rich upland specialist beetle fauna, but many of the rarest species are those which reach their northern limits in Britain on Arran. These include the grassland melyrid Malachius aeneus [RDB3] (Melyridae), last recorded in 1892, and possibly the endangered carabid Lebia cyanocephala [RDB1] (Carabidae). The latter record is considered doubtful but at least one of its known hosts, the chrysomelid Chrysolina hyperici, has also been recorded on the island.
The weevil Sitona puberulus [RDBK] (Curculionidae) was first recorded in Britain from Arran in 1864, but was not identified as a new species until 1963. It has not been found on recent searches, although its foodplant, Greater Birdsfoot Trefoil Lotus uliginosus, remains abundant at coastal localities throughout the island. Elsewhere in Scotland it occurs only in Kirkcudbrightshire, but has recently been recorded from many localities in southern England.
Hydraena pygmaea [RDB3] (Hydraenidae) is a characteristic species of many small streams on Arran, particularly around Whiting Bay (NS 0526) and this is one of the national strongholds for this western species. On sandy coasts in the south Anthicus scoticus [RDB3] (Anthicidae) may occur.
County recorder: Alex Ramsay, c/o Dryfemount, Dundas Street, Bo'ness, West Lothian EH51 0DG
ALLEN, A.A. 1965.Sitona puberulus Reitt. (Col. Curculionidae) in Ireland and the Isles of Arran; and a comment on the Britis status of S. cinerascens Fahr. Entomologist's Mon. Mag. 101: 19.
BILLUPS, T.R. 1893. Coleoptera in Arran. Entomologist 26: 54-55.