Megalonotus dilatatus

Range & Status

Widespread in central and southern Europe, confined to the south in Britain.

Regional Distribution

Recorded at Lands End, Penzance and Kennack Sands many years ago, and rediscovered in Stowe Wood in 1985 by Pete Kirby and Sarah Lambert. It has been found on a number of occasions since then at Porthgwarra, Porthcothan, Lundy Bay and inland near Roche.

Habitat & Ecology

A bug typically found on dry and well-drained soils, particularly sandy heaths and grasslands. Open sward conditions are needed, e.g. at margins of tracks or on slopes where instability of the soil maintains open conditions.

Threats

Chief causes of loss of the habitats favoured by this species in recent years have been destruction for development or farming, loss of open conditions through neglect and reduction in grazing pressures, leading to dominance of coarse vegetation and soil invasion.

Conservation

Management should aim to maintain a varied vegetation structure, including areas of bare ground. Light grazing is important in old pasture sites.