Mire pill beetle (Curimopsis nigrita)

Mire pill beetle
Loading more images and videos...

Mire pill beetle fact file

Mire pill beetle description

GenusCurimopsis (1)

Pill beetles have rounded, convex bodies (3). The mire pill beetle, or 'bog hog' is tiny, measuring just 2 mm in length, and is black in colour (1). It was first found in Great Britain as recently as 1977 (4).

Also known as
Bog hog.
Length: 2 mm (1)

Mire pill beetle biology

Very little is known of the ecology of this species. Both adults and larvae of the mire pill beetle feed on moss, and can be found just below the surface of the soil, typically amongst Sphagnum moss or heather litter. Adults have been recorded in April, May and July, and have been found living in moss-lined tubes (4).


Mire pill beetle range

Three sites are known to support the species, all of which are in the Humberhead Levels of south Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (2). Thorne and Hatfield Moors are the largest sites, and each support many small and fragmented populations (2). A small isolated population was found in a tiny patch of suitable habitat at Haxey Grange Fen (2). Outside of Britain, this pill beetle occurs in southern Sweden, Denmark and northern areas of Poland and Germany (5).

You can view distribution information for this species at the National Biodiversity Network Atlas.

Mire pill beetle habitat

As the common name suggests, this species inhabits lowland raised mires (2), which take the form of raised mounds of peat, the surfaces of which are above the water table (6). This beetle seems to prefer damp, open peat where plenty of mosses grow (2).


Mire pill beetle status

Classified as Endangered in Great Britain and protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981, with respect to disturbance or damage to its habitat (2).


Mire pill beetle threats

This beetle faces a number of threats, including drainage of the mire habitat in order to allow peat extraction, fire, drought, shading resulting from scrub growth, and a decrease in the level of ground water, caused by water abstraction and general land drainage (2). Since 1970, the area of available habitat has been reduced by 80% on Hatfield Moor and 30% on Thorne Moors, largely as a result of peat extraction for use in horticulture (2).


Mire pill beetle conservation

The diminutive mire pill beetle is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) priority species (2), and is included in English Nature's Species Recovery Programme (6). The Species Action Plan produced under the UK BAP aims to maintain all current known populations, and to enhance these populations before 2010 (2). All three sites are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and large areas of Thorne and Hatfield Moors are owned by English Nature. These sites therefore receive a level of protection (2).

The UK Biodiversity Action Plan for this species is available at UK BAP.
View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
There may be further information about this species available via the National Biodiversity Network Atlas.

Find out more

For more on English Nature's Species Recovery Programme see:



Information authenticated by the Environment Agency:



Stage in an animal's lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.


  1. National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (September 2002) http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nbn/
  2. UK BAP (September 2002) http://www.ukbap.org.uk
  3. Harde, K. W. (2000) A field guide in colour to beetles. Silverdale Books, Leicester.
  4. Hymen, P. S. and Parsons, M.S. (1992) A review of the scarce and threatened Coleoptera of Great Britain: Part 1. JNCC, Peterborough.
  5. Shirt, D. B. (1987) British Red Data Books: 2 Insects. Nature Conservancy Council, Peterborough.
  6. English Nature Species- Habitat associations. (September 2002) http://www.english-nature.org.uk/baps/habitats/Species.asp?Id=20

Image credit

Mire pill beetle  
Mire pill beetle

© Roger Key

Dr Roger Key
Tel: +44 (0) 1845 567 292


Link to this photo

Arkive species - Mire pill beetle (Curimopsis nigrita) Embed this Arkive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to Arkive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about



MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite Arkive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!


Back To Top