Extinct in Ireland, September 15th, The Beautiful Moss Beetle, Hydraena pulchella

Another day, another extinct species. And another evocative common name (and again a translation of the formal name), this beetle is, according to the RedList No 1:

Hydraena pulchella

The Beautiful Moss Beetle

IUCN Regionally Extinct T

he last record for this hydraenid was in 1930 near Killarney. This was once a widespread species found in slowly lapping water over clean silt in river edges.

Hydraena pulchella

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The related Hydranea flavipes/minutissima is a conservation priority species in Northern Ireland. Indeed it sounds like it is barely clinging on if indeed it hasn’t tipped over into extinction:

Hydraena flavipes (formerly H. minutissima) belongs to a group of tiny water beetles in the family Hydraenidae. These are mainly inhabitants of river and stream margins. Hydraena are often described as water beetles but they are partly amphibious and crawl on vegetation and bottom mud both in and out of the water, though more fully aquatic than Ochthebius. Like the members of Ochthebius, there is a strong resemblance between species. All are tiny (1-2 mm), and relatively narrow and flattened compared to Ochthebius, with long, conspicuous labial palps and a pronotum lacking the strong sculpturing or transparent margins of Ochthebius.
Hydraena flavipes lives along the margins of fast streams, often choosing moss on sills or marginal gravel and silt to live in. It was formerly widely if thinly distributed but is now rare in Ireland with a single recent record, for Wicklow (Tierney et al., 2002).

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