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.

Silpha obscura - A carrion beetle

Range & Status

Formerly widespread in England but has become increasingly scarce.

Regional Distribution

There were only five old and widely scattered records from the Isles of Scilly and west

Cornwall, until it was rediscovered at Forrabury Common, Boscastle in 1964 (S.M. Turk). It has been subsequently found at Pentire Head in 1979 (National Trust Biological Survey). There are two recent unconfirmed records: Cape Cornwall and Cubert, both in 1989.

Habitat & Ecology

Possibly a predator of molluscs and/or feeds on carrion. Usually found under stones and at the base of plants. Mostly known from sandy or chalky areas.


Loss of rough pastures through agricultural intensification or abandonment.


All recent reports come from National Trust land.


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.