David Green has been working with the Worcester City museum collection of beetles. David gives some background information about the collection and the nineteenth century and early twentieth century collectors who compiled it in his previous ResearchWorcestershire post.
In this post, he looks specifically at Blaps mucronata Latreille, 1804 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) and Sphodrus leucophthalmus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in the Coleoptera collection of Worcester City Museum. These beetles were traditionally found in cellars, but are now much less common because of the changing use of these spaces. Other researchers have suggested that Sphodrus leucophthalmus might now be extinct in Britain, making the Worcester collection particularly interesting as historical evidence.
top left three: Sphodrus leucophthalmus (all the specimens in the Worcester Museum collection)
remainder: Blaps mucronata from the Worcester Museum collection
A recent record of Blaps mucronata Latreille, 1804 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) in Kemerton and a review of Worcestershire records (Green & Poloni 2015) makes it relevant to review records I have compiled for the species from specimens in Worcester City Museum Coleoptera collection. Also I include the records of Sphodrus leucophthalmus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Coleoptera: Carabidae) which shares the same synanthropic habitat such as cellars. Picture 1 shows all the specimens of both species in the museum. The following table lists records.
|Blaps mucronata||1||Fletcher||Indoors, Worcester 1883-July|
|Blaps mucronata||1||Fletcher||Indoors, Worcester 1885-August-28|
|Blaps mucronata||2||Fletcher||In cellar, Worcester 1856-July|
|Blaps mucronata||1||Fletcher||Skin[?] …, Worcester 1893-July-20|
|Blaps mucronata||3||Bloom. Purchd from Bloom Collection 1909||(no provanance otherwise)|
|Sphodrus leucophthalmus||3||Fletcher||In cellar, Worcester, by Alfred Burrow 1857|
Key to table:
- Num: number of specimens
- Collection: The collection from which specimen originated; these are combined mostly into one cabinet in the museum.
David M. Green
David M. Green is an entomologist who has been identifying/cataloguing & doing some basic curation of the Museum collections of Coleoptera & Diptera for some years & has a background in wildlife invertebrate survey.
To curators Garston Philips, Deborah Fox, and other staff, my thanks for providing access to the Worcester City Museum insect collection for long term work and recent photography.
To Harry Green, for information/article in prep. (Green & Poloni 2015) that caused the writing of this article.
- Duff, Andrew G. 2012 Beetles of Britain and Ireland Vol 1: Sphaeriusidae to Silphidae: p199. West Runton, Norfolk: A.G. Duff
- Green, Harry & Poloni, Jake 2015. Cellar Beetle Blaps mucronata at Kemerton, Worcestershire 2015. Worcester Record 39:20-23