Published: 00:01, 15 June 2014 |
The black oil beetle has been in steep decline due to changes in countryside management and is the subject of a recovery programme to try and increase numbers.
The insects rely on solitary bees to complete their life cycle as its larvae hitch rides on their backs into their nests where they feed on their eggs, pollen and nectar.
Specimens were discovered on May 23 at Great Bells Farm on Eastchurch Marshes, to the east of Elmley National Nature Reserve and south of HMP Elmley.
The 193 hectare site is being developed as a grazing spot for birds but is also uniquely placed in the county as a habitat for water voles and beetles.
Site manager Julian Nash said: “We are really excited to find this beetle at Great Bells.
“They are a barometer of the health of the countryside, so it is really encouraging for us to find one at this new reserve.
“This winter we have had thousands of migratory birds and this spring large numbers of breeding lapwing and redshank which would not have been here without the restoration.
“It is great that we are also attracting important invertebrates, it’s really good for the overall biodiversity of Great Bells. The restoration has also been good for wildlife, particularly water voles.”
Adult black, violet and short-necked oil beetles are active in the spring, while adult rugged and Mediterranean oil beetles can be found in the autumn, winter and early spring.
The reserve was created by the Environment Agency in late 2012 to compensate for coastal land lost through the building of tidal and sea defences from the Medway Estuary up to, but not including, Whitstable.
At the moment there is no public access so that the ecology has a chance to settle, but the aim is to open it up at a later date.
Don't miss out, subscribe today. Keep up to date with our newsletters.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.