Invertebrate conservation in the Seychelles
The critically endangered giant palm beetle Polposipus herculeanus, from the tiny Seychelles island of Fregate, is highly vulnerable to both habitat loss and accidental introductions of rats and mice
A breeding and research programme was established in 1996 at ZSL’s Invertebrate Conservation Unit. Investigations into the beetle’s biology, lifecycle parameters and disease profiles were initiated to better inform conservation management. The recently formalised European breeding programme for the species is co-ordinated by ZSL.
Three other endemic Seychelles species - the enid snail Pachnodus fregatensis, the Seychelles scorpion Chiromachus ochropus and the world’s largest species of millipede Sechelleptus seychellarum are included in the Fregate beetle programme. The robber or coconut crab Birgus latro (the world’s largest land arthropod) is another Seychelles species that has been investigated.