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.

Berytinus hirticornis - A stilt bug

Range & Status

A widespread bug in Europe, but in Britain it is confined to the coastal counties of the south and east. Extremely local in south west England.

Regional Distribution

Recorded in Cornwall from The Lizard in 1960, where described as being found in long grass growing under a thick hedge.

Habitat & Ecology

Typically a species of dry or sparse grassland, usually on neutral or base-rich soils. Chosen sites usually have fairly tall flowering grasses, but are sufficiently thinly or patchily vegetated for bare ground to be visible. It feeds on stems and leaves of various grasses and populations may be very large where habitat is favourable. It also feeds on aphids and dead individuals of larger insects.


Natural succession on unmanaged grassland, leading to dominance by dense coarse vegetation and to scrub invasion. Over-grazing can be a threat where it leads to the loss of taller grasses. Re-profiling of coastal banks can lead to the loss of suitable habitat.


Maintenance of a varied vegetation structure, including both tall flowering grasses and thinly vegetated or bare ground. Moderate or rotational grazing, or a programme of cutting can be beneficial.


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.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.