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Last Updated: Friday March 25 2011 13:53 GMT

UK hunt for the last oil beetles

Oil beetle

A nationwide hunt is being launched to find four types of oil beetle that could vanish completely from the UK countryside.

The number of these species of beetle has halved in the last 100 years, and these last four are now under threat.

They're usually spotted around coasts, particularly in the South West of England.

They're struggling to survive because their natural habitat - full of wild flowers - is disappearing.

Now Buglife and the National Trust are launching a survey to help work out where the last four species of oil beetle are living.

They're asking the public to report sightings of oil beetles, which are easy to spot on bare ground at the edge of footpaths, where females like to dig their burrows.