The beautiful and rare Tansy beetle, which is only found within a 30km stretch of York, is to be introduced into the Museum Gardens next year – if all goes to plan! writes Isla Gladstone, curator of natural science.
We’re really excited to be working with the Tansy Beetle Action Group (TBAG) to help protect and understand this iconic York species.
The Tansy beetle is a bright green, flightless leaf beetle. It’s named after the Tansy plant that it eats and lays its eggs on. It used to be more widespread across the UK, but is now only known along the banks of the River Ouse near York. The species is endangered worldwide.
TBAG work to protect the Tansy beetle and research what it needs to survive. One thing they have learned so far is that the beetles can’t find new clumps of Tansy if these are more than 200m away. If the Tansy clump a population of beetles lives on is destroyed or flooded and there isn’t another one close by the population can be wiped out.
To prepare for our beetle colony we have planted Tansy and other plants, including Water mint and Sneezewort, in three 2m2 square beds.
We’re hoping to introduce the beetle next Spring. This will extend its range and give our visitors an opportunity to see and help protect it.
We’ll be working with volunteers to maintain and monitor the Tansy beds. If you would like to help, please contact Fiona Burton, our Volunteers Manager, at email@example.com