Upton Warren WBRC Survey Day - Additional Records

By Don Goddard

Better late than never! I have finally got around to interpreting my field notes and 1`sorting and identifying the beetles and other invertebrates collected during the BRC recording day at Upton Warren Flash Pools last July 31st 1999.

A range of common and local wetland beetle species were recorded including three species associated with saline habitats; the ground beetle Bembidion varium (Olivier), a scavenger water beetle Enochrus bicolour (F) and an anthicid beetle Anthicus constrictus Curtis. The latter two species are both nationally scarce and are exclusively confined to saltmarshes and these records would appear to be the first for Worcestershire, they probably do not occur anywhere else in the county due to lack of suitable habitat. The only other scarce beetle recorded was the staphylinid Paederus fuscipes Curtis. However this pretty blue and orange beetle was also noted in the previous edition of Worcestershire Record, and is a wetland species rather than a saltmarsh one, although it does show that it can tolerate a range of conditions, many wetland species cannot put up the too much salt. It has also been recently noted at Wilden Marsh.

I spent the whole time at the Flash Pools, knowing that future visits are likely to be few because of the need to avoid disturbing breeding birds. Much of that time was spent trying to capture adult shore bugs running over thick, deep glutinous mud. Inland most shore bugs turn out to be the common Saldula saltatoria (L) or the slightly more local Chartoscirta cincta (Herrich-Schaeffer). Most of the specimens captured proved to be representatives of these two species. However some looked distinctly different, unfortunately these different bugs proved to be the fastest, especially in bright sunshine! Consequently catching them was very difficult, particularly over deep glutinous mud when the bug can easily move faster than the pursuing entomologist!

Eventually I managed to secure several specimens, getting very muddy in the process! Using the only available key (Southwood & Leston (1959), a now virtually unobtainable book) they keyed out to Saldula pilosella (Thomson). This is a saltmarsh species but not exclusively so as it also occurs in the Norfolk Broads. The specimens have been sent to Dr. Peter Kirby for critical examination.

We only really scratched the surface on the recordersí day. The site really needs to be surveyed in spring and early summer as well as mid-summer. Hopefully we will be able to return later this year.

A full species list is given below with further notes on the scarce and saltmarsh species.

Notes on scarce and interesting species



Cymbiodyta marginella (F) (Nationally Scarce Category B) An oval, black, scavenger water beetle, (3.5-4.5mm), with yellowish-brown edges to the thorax and elytra. (Teneral specimens may be wholly yellow-brown). Usually found in lowland localities at the edges of stagnant, eutrophic water bodies either in shallow water or amongst wet vegetation debris, moss and damp mud just above the waterline. This species has a mainly southern and eastern distribution with scattered records up to south Yorkshire. In the west it is particularly sparsely distributed except for the Somerset Levels and Angelsey. In Worcestershire the beetle is widespread but very local. Threatened by pollution and loss of wetlands.
Enochrus bicolour (F) (Nationally Scarce Category B) An oval, scavenger water beetle, uniformly pale reddish to yellowish-brown in colour and between 5.0-6.5mm in size. The scientific name is somewhat inappropriate as the beetle is all one colour. Balfour Browne (1958) suggests that it was so named because Fabricius was colour blind! This is a halophilic species and is normally found in brackish waters in coastal areas although very occasionally on the Continent it has been found at the edges of freshwater lakes. The species is virtually confined to coastal counties and has a mainly eastern distribution with scattered records elsewhere north to southern Scotland. Inland records are very sparse and this would appear to be the first record for Worcestershire. Threatened by pollution and loss of brackish wetlands.


Paederus fuscipes Curtis (Nationally Scarce category B) A small blue and orange rove beetle found in marshes, bogs, pond margins and other damp places. Usually found in wetlands amongst reed litter and other plant debris and some times found running around on wet, bare mud in sunny places. Widely distributed but local throughout England, Wales and southwest Scotland. Adults have been recorded in most months. In Worcestershire this species would appear to be scarce, although it may be under-recorded. Threatened by pollution and loss of wetland through falling water tables, agricultural improvement and excessive tidying of ponds and ditches.


Anthicus constrictus Curtis (Nationally Local) A small (2.5-3.0mm) shining-black beetle with two small red spots at the apex of the elytra. Most species in this genus live in plant refuse and manure heaps. Several species including A. constrictus are confined to salt marshes. This halophilic species is widely distributed but local in coastal counties of England and Wales. Inland records appear to be sparse. Beetles belonging to this family, Anthicidae, are under-recorded in Worcestershire, however as this species is confined to salt marshes the Flash Pools may well be the only viable habitat in the county.


Bembidion varium (Olivier) (Nationally Local) A small carabid beetle, (4.0-5.0mm), black in colour with a metallic bronze lustre, sometimes with a greenish or bluish tinge. Usually found on damp, bare clayey ground near water. This beetle is most frequently recorded from salt marshes but it also occurs at the margins of freshwater. The species has a mainly southern and eastern distribution with most records from coastal counties; however, it is also frequently recorded inland. B. varium is local in Worcestershire; the few records are all from wetland habitats.



Saldula pilosella (Thomson) (Nationally Local) A small broad-oval shore bug (4.0-4.5mm), coloured dark charcoal grey with a variable amount of white flecks. The main habitats of this bug are estuarine salt marshes, (where is can withstand periodic immersion in seawater), brackish pools and raised beaches, however it is also found at a number of inland sites such as the Norfolk Broads. This species is widely distributed but local in coastal counties of England and Wales. The Worcestershire status is unknown. Species in this family are difficult to identify and any species other than the three commonest usually require specialist conformation, hence the above record also requires conformation.

Invertebrate species list for The Flash Pools WWT reserve, Upton Warren near Wychbold Worcestershire SO 934666 (visited 31 July1999)

Scientific name

Common name


National Status

Local Status



*Pterostichus diligens (Sturm)A ground beetleBare damp mudclc
*Loricera pilicornis (F)A ground beetleBare damp mudcc
*Bembidion articulatum (Panzer)A ground beetleBare damp mudll
*B. dentellum (Thunberg)A ground beetleBare damp mudlcl
*B. lunulatum (Fourcroy)A ground beetleBare damp mudcc
*B. varium (Olivier)A ground beetleBare damp mudll
*Agonum marginatum (L)A ground beetleBare damp mudlcl
*Gyrinus substriatus StephensA whirligig beetleShallow waterlclc
*Noterus clavicornis (Degeer)A diving beetleShallow waterlclc
*Agabus bipustulatus (L)A diving beetleShallow watercc
*Hyphydrus ovatus AubeA diving beetleShallow waterlclc
*Hydroporus ?angustatus Sturm teneral ?A diving beetleShallow waterlclc
*Helophorus brevipalpis BedelA scavenger water beetleShallow watercc
*Helophorus cf. minutus (F) ? non det.A scavenger water beetleShallow watercc
*Enochrus bicolour (F)A scavenger water beetleShallow waterNBNew ?
*Cymbiodyta marginella (F)A scavenger water beetleShallow waterNBvl
*Cercyon marinus (Thomson)A scavenger water beetleBare damp mudcc
*Laccobius minutus (L)A scavenger water beetleShallow waterlclc
*Paederus riparius (L)A rove beetleBare damp mudll
*P. fuscipes CurtisA rove beetleBare damp mudNB??
*Platystethus cornutus (Gravenhorst)A rove beetleBare damp mudcc
*Stenus cicindeloides (Schaller)A rove beetleBare damp mudcc
*S. melanopus (Marsham)A rove beetleBare damp mudll
Aleocharinea ?det. pendingA rove beetleBare damp mud--
*Anthicus constrictus CurtisAn anthicid beetleReed litterl??
Scaphisoma agaricum (L)A fungus beetleReed litterl??
Micrapsis 16-punctata (L)16-spot ladybird beetleMixed herbagelclc
*Anisosticta 19-punctata (L)Water ladybird beetleReed litterll
Rhagonycha fulva (Scopoli)A soldier beetleMixed herbagecc
*Anthocomus rufus (Herbst)A false soldier beetleMixed herbagelcl
Oulema melanopa/rufocyanea ?A leaf beetleMixed herbagecc
*Altica lythri AubeA flea beetleEpilobiumlclc
Aphthona atrocaerulea (Stephens)Flax flea beetleMixed herbagecc
Phyllotreta undulata KutscheraA flea beetleMixed herbagecc

Hemiptera - Heteroptera


*Nabicula limbata (Dahlbom)Marsh damsel bugMixed herbagecc
*Cymus glandiclor HahnA sedge bugMixed herbagelclc
*Chilcis typhae (Perris)Reedmace bugReedmacelclc
Notostira elongata (Geoffroy)A grass bugMixed herbagecc
Trigonotylus ruficornis (Geeoffroy)A grass bugMixed herbagelc??

*Saldula pilosella (Thomson) ?

A shore bugBare damp mudl??
*S. saltatoria (L)Common shore bugBare damp mudcc
*Chartoscirta cincta (Herrich-Scheaffer)A shore bugBare damp mudclc
*Corixa punctata IlligerA water boatmanShallow watercc
*Sigara lateralis (Leach)A water boatmanShallow waterlclc
*Callicorixa praeusta (Fieber)A water boatmanShallow watercc
*Gerris lacustris (L)Common pondskaterShallow watercc

Hemiptera - Homoptera

Hoppers & Aphids

Neophilaenus campestris (L)A hopperMixed herbagecc
*Cicadella viridis (L)A hopperJuncus sp.cc
Delphacodes group sp. ?det. pendingA hopperJuncus sp.--


Grasshoppers & Crickets

Chorthippus parallelus (Zetterstedt)Meadow grass hopperMixed herbagecc


Two-winged Flies

Syritta pipiens (L)A hover flyMixed herbagecc
Episyrphus balteatus (Degeer)A hover flyMixed herbagecc
Eristalinus sepulchralis (L)A hover flyMarsh


Bees, wasps & ants

Bombus lucorum (L)Small Earth Bumble BeeThistle flowerscc
B. pascuorum (L)Common Carder BeeThistle flowerscc
B. pratorum (L)Early Bumble beeThistle flowerscc



*Aeshna cyanea (Muller)Southern HawkerFlash Poolscc
*A. grandis (L)Brown hawkerFlash Poolsclc
*Sympetrum sanguineum(Muller)Ruddy DarterFlash PoolsNBl
*Calopteryx splendens (Harris)Banded DemoiselleFlash Poolslclc
*Ischnura elegans (van der Linden)Blue-tailed damselflyFlash Poolscc


Butterfles & Moths

Parage aegeria (L)Speckled WoodMixed herbagecc
Maniola tithonus (L)GatekeeperMixed herbagecc
Nymphalis io LPeacockMixed herbagecc
Pieris napi (L)Green-veined WhiteMixed herbagecc
Thymelicus sylvestris (Poda)Small SkipperMixed herbagecc


*Anisus vortex (L)Whirlpool Ramís-hornShallow watercc

Notes on abbreviations and symbols in tables

Species listed in bold type are particularly associated with saline habitats.
Species names followed by ? indicate an uncertain identification that needs conformation by a specialist in that group. In some cases females of certain species cannot be separated in the absence of males.
*Indicates species having some association with wetland habitats.
??Insufficient information available to give a meaningful assessment of status.
cCommon everywhere.
lcLocally common species, distribution may be restricted by food plant, habitat etc.
lLocal species, distribution may be restricted by food plant, habitat etc. These species are often more vulnerable to habitat disturbance.
vlVery local species, usually more restricted by food plant, habitat, geographical range etc than local species.
NBSignifies that a species has only been recorded from between 31 and 100 10km squares of the Ordinance Survey National Grid.
NewPossible new county record.


BALFOUR-BROWNE, F. 1958: British Water Beetles. Vol. 3. Ray Society
SOUTHWOOD, T.R.E. & LESTON, D. 1959: Land and Water Bugs of the British Isles. Frederick Warne, London & New York

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