The Little Things in Life.

Taking a look at the national records for Gorse Weevil the closest records were on the Downs beyond Eastbourne, and they were the only records in the county. The species is described as being fairly frequent and widespread in England and Wales yet we had no records hereabouts, and there seem to be only 66 records nationally on the Biological Records Centre database, and 1566 records on the National Biodiversity Network database which goes back 200 years. Surely the gorse of the Country Park could furnish a record or two!

The Gorse Weevil is about 2mm long, is light grey in colour with a long snout half as long as its body. The adult feeds on Gorse by digging into the soft tissue of the stem and spines with its snout, creating characteristic round holes as evidence. The larva does more damage, however. It emerges from its egg inside the gorse seed pod and feeds on the seeds for six to eight weeks. The larva then pupates for about two months.

Taking the opportunity of a lull in the throng of visitors to the VC on Friday (!) gorse was beaten between the VC and the horseshoe car park, and there were 2 Gorse Weevils. Close examination under a x20 hand lens confirmed the species identification and records were duly submitted. Hastings Country Park is on the map once again.Gorse Weevil  Exapion ulicis

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