Eysarcoris aeneus

Range & Status

Widespread in Europe, but only known in Britain from less than ten sites.

Regional Distribution

The sole known Cornish locality is a rushy meadow at Bellowell, near Penzance, where one was found in 1975 (Bannister, 1976).

Habitat & Ecology

British records have come from a variety of situations - damp heathland, woodland rides and clearings, damp grassland - wherever the food plant Slender St John' s-wort Hypericum pulchrum occurs. Adult bugs overwinter in soil or moss. Feeding is on the developing fruits, and the bug appears to occur in small colonies.

Threats

The main threats are the destruction of habitat through ploughing and draining or

abandonment. Suitable grazing levels are essential, as overgrazing may lead to the loss of flowering of the food plant, while undergrazing may lead to the coarsening of the sward and hence swamping out of the foodplant.

Conservation

Inland rushy pastures such as those at Bellowell have largely been ploughed and drained, and turned into heavily fertilised leys. Whether or not the bug still survives here or anywhere else in the area is not known.