Species Projects

We won’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone…

Many of the bugs we know about already have incredible life stories, abilities and the power to help the human race with medicines, natural pest control, as processors and recyclers of waste, the pollinators of food crops and flowers, and they provide much of the colour, sounds and movements that animate the natural world. Yet we still have so much to discover. With so many species under threat, we literally don’t know what we are on the brink of losing.

Buglife is working hard to find out more about bugs and what they need, focusing on those under the greatest threat.

Buglife is committed to:

  • stopping the extinction of invertebrate species
  • achieving sustainable populations of invertebrates

Ancients of the Future

Ancient trees support a vast array of incredibly rare species this project aims to save 28 of the most threatened species.

Jewels of Lough Erne

The Zircon reed beetle in Northern Ireland

Oil Beetles

Oil beetles are incredible insects, but they are also under threat. Three of UK’s native oil beetles are now extinct, and the remaining five species have suffered drastic declines in their distributions due to changes in the way our countryside is managed.

Breckland Ground Beetles

The Brecks are home to a unique assemblage of ground beetles associated with disturbed habitats, notably the arable brecks.

Narrow Headed Ant

The Narrow-headed ant (Formica exsecta) is facing extinction in England. Always rare, but once found across heathlands from Dorset to Cornwall and in the New Forest, it now survives at one site only in South Devon.

Ladybird Spider

The Ladybird spider was thought to be extinct in Britain for over 70 years until it was rediscovered in 1980. Since then no other populations have been found and across the rest of its range in northern Europe the Ladybird spider is only locally common in a very few places.

Blue Ground Beetle

The Blue ground beetle (Carabus intricatus) is a Britain’s largest ground beetle, and also one of the rarest.

Cornwall Marvellous Mud Snails

‘Marvellous Mud Snails’ was a fun and exciting public engagement project that created a healthier and more resilient population of the Pond mud snail in Cornwall.

Horrid Ground-Weaver

The Horrid ground-weaver (Nothophantes horridus) is one of the rarest invertebrates in the UK; it may also be one of the rarest spiders in the world! Buglife undertook surveys and research to learn more about this species and support its conservation.

Streaked Bombardier Beetle

So rare in the UK, that it has only recently been agreed and accepted as a native species. It was thought to be extinct for more than 75 years.

Scarlet Malachite Beetle

This little beetle is one of the UK’s rarest and most beautiful insects. The Scarlet malachite beetle (Malachius aeneus) is a beautiful red and green insect, found on just eight sites in the UK.

Sea Aster Mining Bee

The Sea aster mining bee (Colletes halophilus) is a rare bee restricted to the margins of salt marshes in East Anglia and the Thames Estuary, with occasional populations along the south and east coasts. The UK supports nationally important populations, with the bee restricted globally to the North Sea coastline.

New Forest Cicada

Thanks to funding from the Forestry Commission, Buglife experts and volunteers joined forces with wildlife sound recorders and Southampton University. For the first time old fashioned entomological survey methods, high-tech sound recording equipment and a smartphone app were used to search for the New Forest Cicada.

Bog Hoverfly (2012)

The Bog Hoverfly (Eristalis cryptarum) is a rare hoverfly that in recent years has been found only within a restricted area of Dartmoor. This hoverfly has been identified in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) as a priority species for conservation action.

Rosser's Sac Spider

This project helped to conserve one of the UK’s rarest and most elusive spiders, known from only two sites in the Cambridgeshire Fens.

Chestnut Click Beetle

75 year ago the Chestnut click beetle (Anostirus castaneus) was found on a number of sites between Durham and South Wales. Now it’s only found at two locations in Britain: Birk Cragg, Crag Lane, Harrogate, HG3 1QA and in an area of soft cliffs on the Isle of Wight.

Action for Invertebrates

A joint organisation project that targeted 12 rare invertebrates.

Bordered Brown Lacewing

This exciting species focused project raised awareness of the very rare Bordered brown lacewing (Megalomus hirtus) and its relatives through surveys and workshops.

Spotting Pot Beetles

Pot beetles are a fascinating and charismatic group of leaf beetles that are very rare in Scotland! The Spotting Pot Beetles project raised awareness of Pot beetles through workshops and surveys.

Scottish Mason Bees

Solitary bees are amazing insects! The Scottish Mason Bees project raised awareness of Mason bees and other bees through workshops and surveys to look for rare species across Scotland.

Marvellous Mud Snails

‘Marvellous Mud Snails’ was a fun and exciting public engagement project that created a healthier and more resilient population of the Pond mud snail in Scotland.

Nest Quest

Nest Quest was an exciting community engagement project which provided opportunities for volunteers to learn about the ecology of wood ants, species identification and how to help protect their local wood ant populations.

Tansy Beetle

The Tansy beetle was once widespread in Britain, but it is currently endangered, not just in the UK but across its worldwide range.

Shrill carder bee

The Shrill carder bee project is part of the Back from the Brink project and worked in the Thames Gateway to enhance knowledge and habitat for this now rare bumblebee.

Bugs on the Brink

Conservation for the rare endemic species on St Helena

Help us to stop the extinction of invertebrate species

Become a member

From £36 per year, membership directly supports our vital conservation work. In return you receive member benefits and our bi-annual Buzz magazine.


Donate to support us

Our work would not be possible without your support. Bees and other invertebrates need help to reverse the catastrophic declines in their numbers. Please donate today and together we can restore vital habitats and rebuild strong populations of invertebrates in the UK.

Make a donation today

Engage with our work

Follow us on the social networks, or sign up to receive our email newsletter so we can you keep you up-to-date with our work