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.

Megalonotus dilatatus - A ground bug

Range & Status

Widespread in central and southern Europe, confined to the south in Britain.

Regional Distribution

Recorded at Lands End, Penzance and Kennack Sands many years ago, and rediscovered in Stowe Wood in 1985 by Pete Kirby and Sarah Lambert. It has been found on a number of occasions since then at Porthgwarra, Porthcothan, Lundy Bay and inland near Roche.

Habitat & Ecology

A bug typically found on dry and well-drained soils, particularly sandy heaths and

grasslands. Open sward conditions are needed, e.g. at margins of tracks or on slopes where instability of the soil maintains open conditions.


Chief causes of loss of the habitats favoured by this species in recent years have been destruction for development or farming, loss of open conditions through neglect and reduction in grazing pressures, leading to dominance of coarse vegetation and soil invasion.


Management should aim to maintain a varied vegetation structure, including areas of bare ground. Light grazing is important in old pasture sites.


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.