Bugs of the British Isles

'Platycerus caraboides,' a dark metalic blue beetle a third to a half inch long on the end of a log. Photo by J. Bohdal. 'Bombus subterraneus' from Commanster, Belgian High Ardennes, from James Lindsey's Ecology of Commanster Site 'Idaea humiiata,' a small moth with light brownish to golden wings, rusty on the top edges and fringed on the bottom edges. Photo by Engeser. 'Euclemensia woodiella,' painted by John Curtis, shows a line of yellow and orange on black and brown wings with long fringes 'Coenagrion armatum,' photographed in Hudiksvall, Sweden

Blue stag beetle

Quick, articulate with its forelegs and antennae, this beetle would suck up sap and fallen fruit or any liquid left lying around. Its antennae were elbowed and ended in clubs with triple knobs. The inner edges of its jaws were toothed. Its pronotum and elytron were dark metalic blue with numerous tiny indentations and light striae. It flew about in the forest and made its home on decayed oak or beech.

Short-haired bumble-bee

Fuzzy bundle, joy worker, gathered pollen. Also called the short-haired humble-bee, this bee had been introduced in New Zealand to pollinate red clover, and subsequently became extinct in the British Isles where it was last seen in 1988. An attempt to reintroduce it from New Zealand was made in 2009, but this was not successful. A second reintroduction using queens from southern Sweden began in 2012.

Isle of Wight wave

Under an inch of dusty grace, this moth from the Isle of Wight had golden wings with light rings rusty on their top edges and fringed on their bottom edges, each with a tiny black dot. It’s not been seen on the Isle of Wight since 1931.

Manchester moth

Euclemensia woodiella, Manchester tinea, Manchester moth, a.k.a. Pancalia woodiella, this rare moth was mistakenly attributed to R. Wood, when the amateur collector Robert Cribb should have had the honor. Cribb’s collection was tragically burned, and only three specimens in museums exist.

Norfolk damselfly

Slim delicate jeweled scepter with gossamer wings, the abdomen of the male featured inlays of obsidian and turquoise. Unlike a dragonfly, the damselfly folds its wings when at rest. Like a dragonfly, it’s predatory. To breed, the Norfolk damselfly needed clear waters, still or slow, with aquatic plants. Last seen in Britain in 1968, it survives in Europe, Siberia, and Mongolia.