A beetle that is extinct in Britain except for a 30km stretch of the banks of the River Ouse around York is to be introduced to York Museum Gardens.
The Tansy Beetle, a beautiful, bright green jewel of a beetle, used to be more widespread around the country, but factors including habitat loss have meant that it is now restricted to this small area.
To help increase awareness about the species York Museums Trust have been working with the Tansy Beetle Action Group (TBAG) to create a suitable habitat for the beetles in the gardens.
Now the beds are ready to become a new home to the beetles and they will be introduced this week.
Isla Gladstone, curator of natural sciences, said: “We are really pleased to be able to introduce this beautiful but extremely rare species into the York Museum Gardens.
“With the beetle having a home right in the city centre it will not only increase the range of the beetle but also allow our visitors to York to learn more about this protected species.”
The specially designed beds will feature Tansy Beetle friendly plants, such as Tansy plants, which the beetles feed on. Isla, the gardens team and volunteers will be closely monitoring the beetles to see how they are adapting to their new home.
The Tansy Beetle is about 10mm in size and is most active on clumps of Tansy between April and May and August and September. It is threatened because Tansy plants are now often only found in isolated clumps, which means the beetles can’t reach each other to breed.