Where To Find Beetles  Back to county index  Back to species index


The built-up parts of Surrey are obviously of less interest to the coleopterist. However, the North American leaf beetle Chrysolina americana (Chrysomelidae) is now established on lavender bushes in front of the Shell Building near Waterloo, from where it is likely to spread. The tiny introduced scarabaeid Saprosites mendax (Scarabaeidae), native to Australia, occurs in Battersea Park.

The epilachnine ladybird Henosepilachna argus (Coccinellidae) was first recorded in the British Isles in 1997 in East Molesey. It has since been found to be well established on White Bryony Bryonia dioica at several places between Walton-on-Thames and East Molesey, and is likely to spread rapidly.

Kew Gardens is presumably too well sprayed to hold much in the way of a wild beetle fauna, although several unusual alien species are apparently established there. The ground beetle Scybalicus oblongiusculus (Carabidae) was found in the Wild Garden at Kew in June 1998, where it was presumably imported and may not be established. Another adventive species, the blind subterranean weevil Raymondionymus marqueti (Raymondionymidae) has been recorded from Kew Gardens, but is probably widespread in parks and gardens across London, where it gets transported with potted plants.

Richmond Park has an exceptionally rich beetle fauna. This includes: Saprosites mendax (Scarabaeidae).

Choleva cisteloides [RDB I] has been found in riverside debris by the River Wey at Eashing (SU 9343) in April. Aleochara verna [RDBK] has been found at Eashing Valley (SU 9443) in September.

The rare tenebrionid Platydema violaceum [RDB1] (Tenebrionidae) was taken at light at Juniper Hall Field Centre, near Dorking, in 1957 but this may have been a vagrant.

Although widely recorded in England, Lebia cyanocephala [RDB1] (Carabidae) must now be considered extremely rare in this country as the last record was in 1951, from Chipstead. The larvae of this species are parasitic on leaf beetles of the genus Chrysomela and the adults should be sought near the host insect.

Two species of leaf beetle are particularly associated with Bookham Common. In the last 100 years, the only known site for the leaf beetle Chaetocnema aerosa [RDBK] (Chrysomelidae) in the British Isles was at this site, but even then it has only been found on four occasions. Sweeping club-rushes between June and September affords the best chance of refinding the species. This is also the last known site for Chrysomela tremula [RDB1] (Chrysomelidae), but it has not been found there since 1957. The species is found on poplars, especially young Aspen Populus tremula, in the summer.

Donacia bicolora [RDB2] (Chrysomelidae) has been found in very small numbers by sweeping emergent vegetation beside ponds on Thursley Common NNR (SU 9140) and at Thundry Meadows (SU 8942), in May and June.

County recorder: , Kingsmead, Wield Road, Medstead, Alton, Hampshire GU34 5NJ

Further reading
DENTON, J. 1998 Lebia cyanocephala (Linnaeus) (Carabidae) rediscovered, in Surrey Coleopterist 7(1): 17.
DENTON, J. 2001. The saproxylic Coleoptera of Thursley Common NNR, Surrey. Coleopterist 10(3): 79.