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West Sussex (VC 13)

The tiny introduced scarabaeid Saprosites mendax (Scarabaeidae), native to Australia, has been established at Arundel Park since 1930, where it may be found between close-fitting stacked cut logs. All Surrey and London records for "S. mendax" actually relate to a similar Asian species (R.B. Angus in prep.), so in Britain the true S. mendax is restricted to the Arundel district.

The very rare anobiid Xyletinus longitarsis [RDB2] (Anobiidae) has been found at Parham Park. Formerly much more widespread in southern England, Herefordshire and Sussex are probably now the only counties in the British Isles in which this species is likely to be encountered.

The lycid Platycis cosnardi [RDB I] (Lycidae) was recorded near Goodwood in 1969 and from Duncton Chalk Pit in 1984, and in Arundel Park in c.1990 (unpublished record per P. Hodge). The species is associated with rotten beech Fagus and adults have been found in May and June.

The cucujid Laemophloeus monilis (Cucujidae) [RDB1] occurs rarely under beech bark in Arundel Park.

East Sussex (VC 14)

There is a 1990s record for Gronops inaequalis (Curculionidae) [RDB K] from the Crumbles, near Eastbourne, although the last remaining area of this former shingle beach has been developed into a marina and hosuing estates.

Ditchling Common is now the only regular site in Britain for Lebia cruxminor [RDB1] (Carabidae), although it also occurs in Fermanagh in Northern Ireland. The most recent British record of the rare bombardier beetle Brachinus sclopeta [RDB1] (Carabidae) was from Beachy Head in 1928, and the species may still survive on some precipitous cliff face in the region.

Fairlight is the last known site in the British Isles for the weevil Lixus algirus [RDB1] (Curculionidae), but it has not been seen since 1923 and may now be extinct. The species should be sought on tall vegetation in wet meadows, in September.

Apteropeda splendida [RDB1] (Chrysomelidae) was last recorded in the British Isles in Ashdown Forest in 1931, but the chances of refinding it in this well-worked county must be slim. The species is associated with plantains Plantago and should be sought in the late summer. Also from Ashdown Forest, at Chelwood Gate, the glow-worm Phosphaenus hemipterus [RDB1] (Lampyridae) was recorded as recently as 1961 and may still exist in the area. A colony of Stenus kiesenwetteri [RDB2] (Staphylinidae) was destroyed during the construction of the Uckfield bypass in the mid-1980s, when a new culvert drained the acidic bog where it occured; however, there may well be undiscovered populations of this species, either in the Uckfield district or on Ashdown Forest.

Xyletinus longitarsis [RDB2] (Anobiidae) was found in June 1993 by sweeping vegetation near fallen and standing beech Fagus trees in Eridge Park, just south of Tunbridge Wells.

The last British record of the oil beetle Meloe brevicollis [RDB1] (Meloidae) was from Chailey Common LNR in 1948. This species should be sought in April/May near colonies of bees. Several other rare species have also occurred there: Erichsonius ytensis [RDB I] (once only, in 1934) and Philonthus coprophilus [RDB I] (in 1924) (both Staphylinidae).

In the British Isles the water beetle Laccophilus poecilus [RDB2] (Dytiscidae) may now be confined to Sussex, where it has been recorded from Pevensey Level and more recently from Lewes Brooks SSSI, though it is very hard to find.

Powdermill Reservoir, near Brede, has several rare beetles. In June 1992 Bembidion octomaculatum [Extinct] was discovered here, although it had not been recorded anywhere in this country since 1926 (apart from a possible 1942 record) and it was thought to be extinct in the British Isles. The species has since spread to Bewl Water on the E. Sussex / W. Kent border, and to a site in W. Norfolk. Badister collaris [RDB1] (Carabidae) has also been recorded from here, as has Haliplus varius [RDBK] (Haliplidae), a species which was added to the British List from specimens found at Brightling Park in 1981, but where it has since died out. In a nearby woodland pool, Acilius canaliculatus [RDB3] (Dytiscidae) was found in May 1987. Other rarities recorded from here include Planeustomus palpalis [RDB K], Scopaeus laevigatus [RDB I] (Staphylinidae), Longitarsus longiseta [RDBK] (Chrysomelidae) and Rhinoncus albicinctus [RDB1] (Curculionidae).

The area of Rye Bay (including Rye Harbour SSSI) holds a large number of nationally rare beetles (Hodge & Yates, n.d.). For example, nine Red Data Book ground beetles (Carabidae) have occurred here: Omophron limbatum [RDB1] is to be found in burrows by flooded gravel workings; Dyschirius angustatus [RDB3] was found three times during the 1980s from Rye Harbour and Camber SSSIs; Amara strenua [RDB2], Harpalus parallelus [RDB3], Badister collaris [RDB1] and Panagaeus cruxmajor [RDB1] have all occurred, with old records only of Dyschirius obscurus [RDB2], Pogonus luridipennis [RDB3] and Dromius vectensis [RDB3]. Rye Harbour is a site for the flea beetle Dibolia cynoglossi [RDB1] (Chrysomelidae), otherwise known only from Dungeness in Kent, which is to be found on hemp-nettle Galeopsis and hound's-tongue Cynoglossum growing on shingle, from April to September. The weevil Limobius mixtus [RDB1] (Curculionidae) was formerly known from South Devon to West Suffolk, but in recent years has only been found at Rye Harbour, where it occurs on Common Stork's-bill Erodium cicutarium in the spring and summer. Other notable rarities include Lathrobium rufonitidum (= fennicum) [RDB I] (Staphylinidae), Nephus bisignatus [Extinct] (Coccinellidae) and Ethelcus verrucatus [RDB3] (Curculionidae). Click here for a full list of the rare beetles of Rye Bay.

Small streams in Hastings Country Park support the only colony of Hydraena pygmaea [RDB2] (Hydraenidae) in southeast England.

Camber is the site where the beetle Hypocoprus latridioides [RDB I] (Hypocopridae) was last recorded in the British Isles, in 1902. The species should be looked for in herbivore dung in August.

County recorder
Peter Hodge
,  8 Harvard Road, Ringmer, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 5HJ. Records for the Rye Bay area (including Pett, Rye, Brede, Tillingham and East Guldeford Levels, Camber sand dunes, and Powdermill Reservoir) are being collated by .

Further reading
HODGE, P.J. & YATES, B.J. no date. The Coleoptera of Rye Bay. http://home.clara.net/yates/coleoptera.html (accessed 4th February 2002).
LEVEY, B. 2000. Eridge Park, E. Sussex, a little-known site for saproxylic Coleoptera  Coleopterist 9(1): 19.