Oxygastra curtisii

Range & Status

On the continent, it is restricted to south-west Europe. Previously only noted as a rarity, the last confirmed record in the UK was on 4 July 1957 from the Moors River on the Hampshire/Dorset border (Moore, 1991).

Regional Distribution

The only confirmed Cornish records were from the River Tamar, just north of Gunnislake, in 1946.

Habitat & Ecology

The species favours slow flowing waters of streams, canals and rivers with tree lined banks and muddy bottoms.

Threats

The only threat is the pollution of suitable sites from agricultural run-off or sewage influx; this was believed to be the cause of the demise of the Moors River population.

Conservation

The only suitable habitat is a few kilometres of the River Tamar north of Gunnislake. Should the species be re-discovered in the area (gaps of up to 50 years between sightings are not unknown) then the site should be regarded as critically important. There have been some unconfirmed sightings in recent years which could give rise to some optimism!