Ground Beetles of Ireland

Aepus marinus

Click on the image to enlarge it in a new window
Aepus marinus
© Roy Anderson
Aepus marinus
Click on map to enlarge it in a new window
(Maps updated 30th November 2009)

Aepus marinus (Stroem, 1783)

Description: Very small (2.3mm) reddish-yellow ground beetle living in crevices and overhangs on the middle to upper shore where suitable slaty or friable rocks occur. Retreats into air filled crevices at high water. Predatory on maritime springtails. Widespread.

World Distribution: A coastal Oceanic temperate species (71) of very restricted range along coasts from southern Norway (old records only) to Brittany in north-west France.

Irish Status: Widely distributed on suitable rocky sea coasts around Britain and Ireland. Unlike in Britain, this species is the commoner of the two Aepus in Ireland.

Ecology: The eyes of this and the following species are rudimentary, and both are adapted to live in dark rock crevices or the undersides of stones embedded in clayish gravels or sands along sheltered coastlines. The present species is occasionally recorded from other places such as strandline driftwood in sandy bays (as at Killard National Nature Reserve, Down), but A. robini appears to be stenotopic for silty rock crevices and similar subterranean habitats. Both have been found from the Extreme High Water Spring Tide (EHWST) to the upper part of the middle shore, but are known to occur together at only one site in Ireland, Reagh Island in Strangford Lough, Down.