Reed beetles, the “jewels amongst the reeds” (Nelson, B., 2007) are brightly metallic species associated with waterside habitats, being found on reeds and other emergent marginal vegetation. Northern Ireland is a stronghold for several rare and threatened species of reed beetle in particular the Zircon reed beetle (Donacia aquatica) and Two-tone reed beetle (Donacia bicolora), with Upper Lough Erne being a vital site for these species. Both of these beetles are UK and Northern Ireland Priority Species for conservation action. The Northern Ireland population of Two-tone reed beetle is seen as the stronghold of both the Irish and UK populations. The Zircon reed beetle has greatly declined, having been lost from over 81% of its UK range.
Buglife are working in partnership . Buglife will work in partnership with the National Trust, RSPB, Ulster Wildlife, Share Discovery Village and others to complete a pilot study of Lough Erne’s reed beetles, undertaking essential survey work to gather population and distribution data and develop a local species recovery plan for the Zircon and Two-tone reed beetles. This pilot project will run throughout the summer of 2021.