A RARE species of beetle has been glimpsed at Magor Marsh Nature Reserve near Newport.

The King Diving Beetle, pictured here, is one of the UK’s largest beetles and is only known to live in Gwent in the whole of Wales.

Magor Marsh is known as one of the best sites in the UK for its diversity of water beetle species, invertebrate specialist Mike Kilner explained.

“Any sighting is considered highly significant as there have been no more than twelve sightings ever in Wales,” he said.

The recent sighting was captured by volunteer and keen photographer, David Sankson.

Gwent Wildlife Trust hope that aquatic invertebrates and plants will continue to thrive at Magor Marsh, but elsewhere, the greatest threat to this species is posed by the conversion of grazing fen to arable land and an increasing lack of field ditch management. Careful maintenance of ditch and reen margins is vital to ensure that the wildlife-rich interface between water, land and air continues to feed, protect and nourish the resident wildlife, a spokesman said.

Landscape manager Gemma Bodé said: “This sighting underlines the incredible rich biodiversity of the Gwent Levels and why Gwent Wildlife Trust will stand up and defend it when under threat from proposals such as the new M4 motorway that will pass within metres of our Magor Marsh Nature Reserve.”