Plea for Staffordshire residents to report sightings of a rare beetle following earliest sighting in the UK

A wildlife trust in Staffordshire is urging residents to report sightings of a rare beetle that has been spotted in the region.


The black oil beetle, known as the "BOB", was first seen last week by a nature reserve officer at the Highgate Common reserve, which has been deemed a site of special scientific interest.

And this is believed to be the earliest record of the insect ever recorded in the UK, which wildlife experts suggest could be an indication that spring temperatures will come early this year.

Rory Middleton, ecological record manager, said: "Based on currently available national database records, we believe this may be the only black oil beetle emergence ever recorded during January in the UK.

"We rely on members of the public to report their sightings to get a better view of how unusual seasonal temperatures are affecting our wildlife across the country – this allows us to compare trends in Staffordshire alongside those around the UK.

"We encourage everyone to report their sightings – not only is it really helpful citizen science, but it's also an easy, fun activity to do while out on a walk."

People can find out how to report sightings to the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust at

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