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© Roy Anderson
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(Maps updated 30th November 2009)
Aepus robinii (Laboulbene, 1849)
Description: Very small (2.5mm) reddish-yellow ground beetle living in crevices of flaky shale or sandstone seashores, preying on maritime springtails and retreating into air filled crevices at high water. Widespread.
World Distribution: A Mediterranean-Atlantic species (91) distributed along coasts from the British Isles south to the Iberian Peninsula and into the Mediterranean.
Irish Status: More local than Aepus marinus and restricted to particular types of fissured marine rocks. The slate rocks of Silurian age on the Down coast are typical. Elsewhere, known from Blacksod Bay and Clare Island, West Mayo (Johnson & Halbert, 1912), and from several localities in Cork and Kerry (Johnson & Halbert, 1902).
Ecology: It has been recorded from the undersides of stones embedded in gravelly clay of the upper middle shore at Reagh Island on Strangford Lough, Down. At Light House Island in Belfast Lough, it was found in silty crevices of slate rock on the upper middle shore (Anderson, 1977). Various elements of a crevice community have been found with the two Aepus spp. in Ireland. These include the nemertean worm Lineus ruber L., the bivalve mollusc Lasaea adansoni (Gmelin), the gastropods Otina ovata (Brown) and Auriculinella bidentata (Montagu), the pseudioscorpion Neobisium maritimum (Leach), the collembolans Anurida maritima (Guérin) and Anurida marina (Willem), and the staphylinids Micralymma marina (Ström) and Halobrecta flavipes Thomson. The collembolans are likely prey items for Aepus. Anurida maritima is the more widespread of the two, and was recorded at all sites in which Aepus spp. have been seen recently. Anurida marina was reported only from sheltered, estuarine conditions at Dundrum Inner Bay and Reagh Island, Down.