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Species of the Day – Delta Green Ground Beetle (Elaphrus viridis)

December 15, 2012

Species of the Day – Delta Green Ground Beetle (Elaphrus viridis)

Delta Green Ground Beetle is a tiny beetle is adorned with an opulent, metallic emerald-green hue, it is restricted within just a ten square mile area around Jepson Prairie Reserve in central Solano County, in California’s Central Valley

This beetle has been collected in bare areas along trails and roadsides and around the margins of vernal pools where it likely that the beetle feeds primarily on springtails and other soft bodied antropods.

Delta green ground beetle is a Critically Endangered Specie owing to the species’ extremely limited range and the widespread disruption and destruction of its wetland habitat from agricultural development, tapping of vernal pools for irrigation of crops, river channelisation, encroaching urban development and invasive species all of which are thought to have played a role in the demise of this species.

Delta green ground beetle is protected by the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act, but long term protection of it’s disappearing habitat the vernal pools on which beetle is depended on for survival must be the top priority for conservation of not only the delta ground beetle, but also the array of other endangered species that are unique to and depend heavily upon this threatened vernal pool ecosystem.

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