30 Days Wild. Day 1. Stag Beetle.

I thought I’d do another month of blogging, since June is the #30DaysWild initiative from the Wildlife Trusts. Here’s one for yesterday; a male stag beetle in our garden.

We’ve got various woodpiles in our garden, but stag beetles need wood which is fully in contact with the ground, preferably sunk into it, so a normal wood pile isn’t much good for them. To that end, we’ve got an old tree stump dug into the ground a bit, to give them some standing wood. Where we actually found them, though, was in the old oak beams which border one side of the pond. They are strange looking larvae – like big, transparent prawns – and spend between 3 and 7 years as larvae before pupating, spending the winter as adults under the soil, and finally emerging for a few short months as the magnificent adult beetles. The females tend to stay put, looking for a good site to lay their eggs, but the males can often be seen at dusk, buzzing slowly and noisily about, like rather ungainly transporter planes. The Hercules of the insect world.

The males like to sun themselves during the day and often end up in perilous positions on pavements or roads. They are endangered and vulnerable, so please do move one if you see it somewhere it’s likely to get trodden on or squashed.

This one was buzzing around at dusk. We went out to watch him, and I got this video when he landed.

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