Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Stag Beetles

When I was at infants school bringing in nature related items including dead insects was a regular occurrence-we all crowded around and were fascinated by the latest treasure-this was how I saw my first ever dragon fly and stag beetle. They were displayed with great pride on the nature table along with leaves, birds nests, acorns etc for all to admire. I hope it still happens but I do wonder....

The stag beetle is our largest native ground dwelling beetle with the male reaching anything up to 7cm in length. Amazingly despite this they can fly- the females can as well but rarely do. As with many species, sadly they are endangered. They are a real asset to the gardener because they eat rotting wood and return the minerals to the earth. At various times they have been known as billywitches, oak-ox, thunderbeetle and horse pincher.

They feature in British folklore as it was believed they could summon thunder and lightning. Medieval peasants thought they flew around with hot coals in their jaws setting fire to buildings. It was deemed to be good luck if you carried a stag beetle's head in your pocket.

Our local nature reserve is doing its bit to help preserve this very fine beetle with its own purpose built loggery. The carving stands in front of it.



Arilx

2 comments:

  1. Hi Aril
    I wish we had Stag beetles here in Staffordshire as I have some lovely log piles they could find a home in.
    I love the way your local nature reserve have stood the logs on end, and the carving is great :)
    Best wishes
    Rose H
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your comment Rose- it's a shame we don't see them much nowadays. I am coming up to your county for a few days a the end of the month so I'll give you a wave!
    Arilx

    ReplyDelete

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