Four new beetles in Cemetery Park

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Edward Milner, who undertakes spider and beetle surveys in Tower Hamlets parks, writes:

Following on from the two new beetles identified in October last year, my beetle expert Norman Heal has identified four more species new to Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park from specimens collected in May and June 2018.

Micrambe ulicis (see photo below, which is much bigger than the beetle in life) is a small beetle of the family Cryptophagidae which is associated with gorse. This is a good example to show why planting native species is good – they gradually attract the insects associated with them. The tiny gorse weevil Exapion ulicis has already been recorded in Cemetery Park. Native species almost always support more insects than introduced species. Gorse, thistles, willows and oak particularly all attract many insects.

Micrambe ulicis

Micrambe ulicis by URSchmidt [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Mogulones asperifoliarum (see header photo) is a tiny weevil whose larvae feed on Forget-me-nots and other plants of the borage family. One specimen was trapped in May 2018 in Scrapyard Meadow.

Philorinum sordidum and Bolitobius analis are both small rove beetles, which are carnivorous.

These bring the total number of beetles recorded in Cemetery Park to 435. Plenty of specimens from the second half of 2018 have yet to be identified, so we can expect more additions.

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