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Beetle back from the brink.

A BEETLE thought to have been extinct in the UK since 1948 has been rediscovered.

The National Trust said the short-necked oil beetle, known as Meloe brevicollis, was found by entomologist Bob Beckford on trust land in south Devon.

Oil beetles were formerly more common, but their natural habitats and the populations of bees they rely on have been decimated by intensive farming practices.

The coastal strip of land near Salcombe where the oil beetle was discovered has been managed less intensively as farmland, therefore creating a habitat where the beetle could survive undisturbed.

The site will be monitored and the lifecycle of the insect examined in more detail so the National Trust can work with its tenant farmer to make sure the land is managed in a way that helps the oil beetle flourish. A total of 40 short-necked oil beetles have been found.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 20, 2007
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