Brachychaeteuma melanops Brade-Birks & Brade-Birks, 1918

Status

GB IUCN status: Least Concern
GB rarity status: Nationally Scarce

Identification

This species is identical in appearance to both Brachychaeteuma bagnalli and  Brachychaeteuma bradeae, but in B. melanops the eyes comprise about six well-pigmented ocelli.  It is best identified by dissection of male gonopds.

Keith Lugg
Keith Lugg
J.P. Richards

Distribution and Habitat

This species does not appear to be common but it has been collected from localities spread across the south of England and south Wales. It has also been found in the south of Ireland. Its distribution has a more distinct southern bias than the other two members of the genus although its range overlaps with that of B. bradeae, especially in East Anglia. This pattern accords with a strict Atlantic distribution in Europe as noted by Kime (2004). Analysis of the habitat data suggests that this is a garden species as it shows a strong association with cultivated sites in urban and suburban locations. Kime (2001) reported it as common in woodland on calcareous soils in northern Aquitaine, France. In Britain and Ireland also, it is recorded most frequently from calcareous soils (76% of records with soil acidity data) but a strong association is not evident from the analysis of environmental data due to the small number of such records. Elsewhere in Europe the species appears to be restricted to the milder parts of western France (Kime, 1995). As with other species in the genus, this animal has an annual life cycle. Adults have been collected in each month from October through to May but most frequently in March and April.

Distribution

idBmigTaxa

40

BRC Code

Mil_141