Feb 1

We’ve asked conservation organisations around the world to nominate a species that they believe to be overlooked, underappreciated and unloved, and tell us why they think that they deserve a fair share of the limelight, this Valentine’s Day.

Each nominee’s story is featured on the Arkive blog with information on the species, what makes them so special, the conservation organisation that nominated them and how they are working to save them from extinction.

Click the ‘unloved species’ tag above to see all of the nominations and their blogs.

Once you have perused the blogs you can vote for your favourite to help get them into the top ten unloved species and get them the recognition that they truly deserve! Share your favourite with others using the #LoveSpecies hashtag on Twitter and Facebook and tell them why they should vote for them too. Voting closes on February 14th at 23:59 PST (07:59 GMT).

Join us and our conservation partners in celebrating and raising awareness for some of the world’s most unloved species this Valentine’s Day!

Species: Scarlet malachite beetle

Nominated by: Buglife

Conservation status: Classified as rare in the UK – found at just eight sites

Why do you love it? The scarlet malachite beetle is a beautiful red and green insect found on just eight sites in the UK. It is a small but handsome beetle that is incredibly rare and somewhat mysterious. The adult beetles appear at the beginning of May and feed on flowers in meadows and hedgerows. They are only around for just over a month, by mid-June they have disappeared for another year.

What are the threats to the scarlet malachite beetle? The beetle is found mainly in Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hampshire, although it was once found in counties across the south and east of England. The reason for its decline is uncertain, but thought to be caused by habitat loss and intensive farming.

Research by Buglife has suggested that the beetle lays its eggs in thatch. The decline in thatch and changing trends in the materials used for thatching could be playing a part in this species’ decline.

What are you doing to save it? Between 2012 and 2016 Buglife has worked in collaboration with Ian Hughes at Lifeforms together with Natural England, Essex Wildlife Trust, Furzey Gardens and local landowners, to continue surveys of key sites, captive breeding of the beetle as well as monitoring their behaviour in the field. Lifeforms has been working closely with landowners to ensure their sites are well-managed for the beetle and creating artificial nesting sites known as ‘beetle cottages’.

Find out more about Buglife and their work with the scarlet malachite beetle

Discover more softwinged flower beetle species on Arkive