Last month we went to the fabulous Wild About Wood Festival at Castle Howard, North Yorkshire, and ran "minibeast hunting" sessions. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we found all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures. We lent nets for sweeping through grassland to a couple of lads, who came back with one of these:
How amazing is that?! It's called Curculio betulae, and it is a weevil. Weevils are herbivorous, and their long nose (called a rostrum) has biting jaws at the end of it. This particular species has such a long rostrum that it is about as long as its body.
Not only was this weevil amazing to look at, it is also quite rare. Roger Key was on hand to identify it, and he said that it was "Nationally Scarce B", which means that it is found in less than 100 10km squares in the UK. To give you some idea of what that means, there are 2644 10km squares in the UK (according to my GIS expert friend Anne Owen!).
So, a great find lads! These species live on birch trees, so keep an eye out for them when you do the Biodiversity survey!