Ground Beetles of Ireland


Bembidion stephensii

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Bembidion stephensii
© Roy Anderson
Bembidion stephensii
© Roy Anderson
Bembidion stephensii
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(Maps updated 30th November 2009)
 

Bembidion stephensii Crotch, 1866

Description: 5.2-6.1mm long black ground beetle with bluish reflections found on gravel near trickling water, principally in abandoned quarries. Also coastal on earth cliffs.
 

World Distribution: With a European temperate distribution (73), recorded from southern Scandinavia and the British Isles to north Spain and north Italy and east to Rumania.
 

Irish Status: Very scattered and local with only seven modern Irish records, five of these from northern counties. Probably under-recorded because of its habitat preferences.
 

Ecology: This is evidently a pioneer species of barren gravelly clay, which in nature exploits flood and storm damaged areas on the seashore and on riverbanks. Most records refer to abandoned stone quarrying sites which provide suitably bare, gravelly substrata (Anderson, 1992). The type of rock does not appear to matter, colonies having recently been found on basalt (3 sites), Silurian slate (1 site) and Cretaceous chalk (1 site). Once vegetation develops, conditions become unsuitable, and no permanent localities are at present known in Northern Ireland. Nevertheless, there are abundant opportunities for the colonisation of ephemeral quarrying sites.