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Essex Field Club
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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are closed due to the Covid-19 situation, but we are otherwise normally open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm, check. We are also normally open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.

Your Forum

This forum has now been more or less replaced by the Club's Facebook page at
Essex Field Club on Facebook

The weblog below is for naturalists to use to report interesting sightings, ask questions, report on field meetings and generally post pictures and any information or questions generally relevant in some way to the wildlife and geology of Essex. You will need to register and be logged-on to post to the forum, and you need to upload pictures first, for use in posts. Find out more

Fri 19th March 2010 20:15 by Graham Smith
Oil Beetles on the Dengie Coast
Oil Beetles are fairly common along the Dengie Coast and have been recorded between Bradwell Marina (TL995078) and Burnham Wick (TQ965955). They appear in March and April and the first this year (5) were seen on March 14th at Sandbeach Outfall (TM033063). All those identified so far appear to be Black Oil Beetles Meloe proscarabaeus, which is thought to be the species depicted on one of the photographs on the picture accompanying this note. The second photo shows oil beetle larva 'mugging' a solitary bee; indeed they clung to it in such numbers that they defeated their own purpose by rendering the bee incapable of flight! The larvae are parasitic in the nests of a few species of solitary bee but according to the Buglife website they attach themselves to any such bee (more or less) which settles near them and it is pot luck whether they choose the right species! Both photos were taken by Steve Wilkinson along the Dengie Coast. The maximum recorded on any one day was 26 in April 2004 between Bradwell St Peter's (TM032082) and Marshhouse Outfall (TM033045).


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