As part of the Worcestershire County Councils Aqua Vitae project organised by Will Watson I was asked to do a rapid survey of the aquatic invertebrates of British camp Reservoir at Little Malvern at the southern end of the Malvern Hills 350 metres to the east of Herefordshire Beacon where the impressive Iron Age Hill-fort of British Camp is located. This site is administered by Severn Trent is one of the few mesotrophic/oligotrophic water bodies in Worcestershire.
Most water bodies of this sort have a fairly limited but often specialised fauna. A small range of common and local aquatic invertebrates were noted with nothing to arouse excitement until I observed a number of weevils swimming in the collecting tray, not floundering as terrestrial weevils would but swimming like Olympic champions. Upon examination with the microscope there turned out to be two species, Eubrychius velutus (Beck) and Litodactylus leucogaster (Marsham). Both weevils were found amongst the water milfoil, which occurred all around the Reservoir and extended down into deep water. The former species, Eubrychius, was present in large numbers with occasional specimens of Litodactylus mixed with it. This appears to be the only county site for both of these species. As very few Litodactylus were found I am wondering if the main population occurred at a greater depth beyond the reach of the net. I shall have to return with scuba equipment!
|Hyman, P. S. 1992: A review of the scarce and threatened Coleoptera of Great Britain. (Part 1) Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough|
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