Victory for the stunning Scarlet

Friday 7th August 2015

Amazing miniature ‘beetle cottages’ co-designed by Lifeforms and Buglife for one of our rarest bugs, the beautiful Scarlet malachite beetle, have had their first success! For the first time a Scarlet malachite beetle emerged from a larvae that was found in one of these special cottages this summer.

This extraordinary red and green bug is thought to lay its eggs in the roofs of thatched cottages near the flowering meadows used by the adults. As this traditional material is becoming increasingly uncommon, Buglife set out to establish miniature cottages on key sites in Essex to see if these amazing bugs would take up residence. And sure enough, they have!

Vicky Kindemba, Buglife’s Conservation Delivery Manager, said: “The innovative use of cottage nurseries could help us to ensure the survival of this mesmerising species. Hopefully we can now help and inspire people to build more cottages in important meadows for the beetle.”

This exciting project was funded by Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust and was run in collaboration with natural history company Lifeforms. Ian Hughes of Lifeforms, and a Scarlet malachite expert, said: “This exciting news confirms that the cottages work! The Scarlet malachite beetle is in desperate need of our help to ensure its survival and this is an important first step in understanding how we can make this happen.”

This is excellent news to take into the future. With evidence of the cottages success, we have a solid foundation to build upon to help us understand the beetle’s fascinating ecology.