Ground Beetles of Ireland

Bracteon argenteolum

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Bracteon argenteolum
© Roy Anderson
Bracteon argenteolum
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(Maps updated 30th November 2009)

Bracteon argenteolum Ahrens, 1812

Description: A 6-7.5mm bronze Bembidion, the largest species of its genus here, living on dry open sand at the margin of fresh water. Confined to Lough Neagh. Old records only.

World Distribution: A Eurasian Boreo-temperate species (55) distributed widely but locally across north and central Europe to eastern Siberia. Absent from Britain apart from one modern, probably casual, immigrant record.

Irish Status: Restricted to Lough Neagh in the British Isles apart from adventitious colonies in south-eastern England. Johnson & Halbert (1902) first found the species at Ardmore, Armagh. Two other sites are known: Glenavy, Antrim (Johnson, 1914); and Shane's Castle, Antrim (Halbert, 1910; Janson, 1924). It has not been seen on the Lough since Janson's visit to Shane's Castle in 1923 and is presumed extinct.

Ecology: This species was recorded in the past from areas of fine, loose sand behind the shorelines of Lough Neagh. Several suitable areas still exist on the Lough, but recent searches have failed to locate the species. It may be a victim of prolonged genetic isolation in an area peripheral to its main European range. It is also decreasing in its Fennoscandian localities (Lindroth, 1985).