The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.
Range & Status
Widespread across Europe and known from a scatter of localities along the coasts of southern Britain from Pembrokeshire to Norfolk. Populations tend to be fairly small and the bugs sparsely distributed. It is a difficult species to find and this may lead to an unrealistic impression of its rarity.
Discovered by R.T. Bannister at Perranporth in June 1964.
Habitat & Ecology
Typically occurs in coastal sand dunes, where the vegetation is fairly open and includes Stork' s-bill Erodium spp. Its food plant is not known, but it has been found consistently and exclusively beneath Erodium spp. in Pembrokeshire (P. Kirby pers. comm.). It burrows into the sand in poor weather and when disturbed. Over-wintering nymphs have been found in moss in sheltered areas of dunes.
The main threat to this species is the abandonment of coastal grazing leading to
coarsening of vegetation. Also the excessive trampling by visitors, leading to the erosion of its habitat.
Grazing is likely to be important in maintaining suitable open conditions, and rabbit grazing has been identified as an important factor - rabbits generally do not eat Erodium spp. and so their grazing favours its growth.
I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.
The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.