Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

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.

Eysarcoris aeneus - A shield bug

Range & Status

Widespread in Europe, but only known in Britain from less than ten sites.

Regional Distribution

The sole known Cornish locality is a rushy meadow at Bellowell, near Penzance, where one was found in 1975 (Bannister, 1976).

Habitat & Ecology

British records have come from a variety of situations - damp heathland, woodland rides and clearings, damp grassland - wherever the food plant Slender St John' s-wort Hypericum pulchrum occurs. Adult bugs overwinter in soil or moss. Feeding is on the developing fruits, and the bug appears to occur in small colonies.


The main threats are the destruction of habitat through ploughing and draining or

abandonment. Suitable grazing levels are essential, as overgrazing may lead to the loss of flowering of the food plant, while undergrazing may lead to the coarsening of the sward and hence swamping out of the foodplant.


Inland rushy pastures such as those at Bellowell have largely been ploughed and drained, and turned into heavily fertilised leys. Whether or not the bug still survives here or anywhere else in the area is not known.


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.