Surrey365; Day 105. Stag Beetle Larvae.
A catch-up post for yesterday, and one from the archives because I haven’t had the chance to take any photos for a few days. Last autumn we were clearing some vegetation out of the pond and installing some planting pockets. We moved back the oak beams which rest along one side of the pond, and discovered around a dozen stag beetle larvae living in one of the beams. We have lots of wood piles around the garden for them, but old oak beams were obviously more attractive. They can live for up to seven years as larvae before emerging as adult beetles for their short weeks of summer life. They are bizarre looking creatures; like huge, translucent, spiky-toed prawns. They are a rare and protected species now, so it’s a treat to have them breeding in our garden.
A wood pile in a shady corner is perfect for these magnificent creatures, and it’s a great excuse not to keep your garden too tidy, as well. 😉 For the last few years we’ve been rewarded by finding the females wandering the garden looking for egg-laying sites, and seeing the males cruising through the air at dusk, looking like an overloaded helicopter that can barely stay in the air. 😀