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Last Updated: Monday June 27 2005 11:19 GMT

Volunteers needed to save beetle

The rare beetle   Photo: Matt Smith/PTES
A call has gone out to the British public to help with the search for a rare and colourful beetle.

The noble chafer is one of the UK's rarest insects. It's generally found in old orchards during July and August.

But these areas are being destroyed to make way for modern farming, meaning many beetles have lost their homes.

The People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) wants people to scour their surroundings for the creatures as part of a bid to save the insect.

The rare beetle   Photo: Matt Smith/PTES

The noble chafer is usually found in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, but it's also been spotted in Kent, Hampshire, Cumbria and Oxfordshire.

Protect

The PTES thinks that if new populations of the creatures can be found, more can be done to protect them.

"It really is essential that we look out for these beautiful creatures," said a PTES spokesman.



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