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35 THE STAG BEETLE, LUCANUS CERVUS L. (COLEOPTERA : LUCANIDAE) IN SUFFOLK - A FIRST REPORT COLIN J. HAWES Few British insects are quite as impressive and distinctive as the stag beetle. The spectacular male with its huge antler-like jaws is our largest and most conspicuous beetle (see plate 5). It is over thirty years since Clark described the national distribution of the stag beetle in the Transactions of the Suffolk Naturalists' Society (Clark, 1965), an account which gave five localities for the insect in Suffolk. Four more stag beetle locations were added to the County list by Clark when he expressed the national data in a series of 10 km. distribution maps (Clark, 1966). Few Suffolk records for the beetle appear in the literature after this date until 1995 during the present survey (Hawes, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998). This survey sets out to give a more accurate picture of the beetle's distribution in Suffolk and attempts to answer the pertirtent questions posed by Clark (1965) who, noting the apparent paucity of records for the County, asked, 'How far into Suffolk does the insect extend?' and 'Are there any other major concentrations, like that of Colchester, which are as yet unreported?'. In order to give as comprehensive a picture as possible of the beetle's distribution in the County all records extracted from the literature and obtained from other sources have been incorporated. This also makes it possible for tentative comparisons to be made between the past and present ränge for the beetle. In Britain and much of northern Europe the stag beetle has been in decline for a number of years (Hyman & Parsons, 1992; Klausnitzer, 1995). Historical records show that the species was once much more widespread but is now extinct or severely restricted in large parts of its former ränge. It is now regarded as a Nationally Scarce species by the statutory conservation agencies and recently has become subject to a Biodiversity Action Plan at both national and local level. The People's Trust for Endangered Species is currently spearheading a partnership of organisations, which includes the Suffolk Naturalists' Society, who are working together on a conservation plan for the stag beetle. This year it is co-ordinating a national survey of the beetle's distribution. The distribution data obtained in the present survey can be used in conjunction with that provided by the national survey in determining appropriate conservation measures to be undertaken in Suffolk, should any prove necessary. Pre-1990 Early literature makes only general reference to L. cervus by counties. The Natural History of British Insects (Donovan, 1792) refers to L. cervus as 'plentiful in Kent and Essex, and many other parts of Britain', but makes no specific reference to Suffolk. Curtis (1834) notes taking L. cervus in 'the New Forest and in Suffolk'. In

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addition he records the beetle as 'most common in Kent and Essex' as well as occurring in Devon (nr Ashburton), Dorset (Bryanston, nr Blandford; Parley Heath; Wimborne), Shropshire (nr Shrewsbury), Berkshire (Brightwell) and South Wales (Swansea). Stephens (1839), in his Manual of British Coleoptera, records L. cervus as 'Abundant in Surrey: Kent; Essex; New Forest; Devonshire', and: 'occasionally in Berks, and Suffolk'. The Rev. Canon Fowler's Coleoptera of the British Islands (1890) merely repeats Stephens' distribution by County, but adds 'rare in the Midlands' mentioning Bewdley and Calke, near Derby. At the time of publication of Fowler's work very little appeared to be known of Suffolk's Coleoptera (Morley, 1911). Fortunately, however, Claude Morley (1874-1951) took a special interest in beetles and kept detailed records of his finds. He collected extensively in the County and in addition collated records for Suffolk from a number of earlier sources (Morley, 1911). In 1899 he 'summed up all that was then known of our beetles, enumerating 1,763 species' in his Coleoptera of Suffolk (Morley, 1899). The details relating to L. cervus (Morley, 1899) are given in Table 1 and include the records from hand-written entries and notes that Morley appended to his personal copy of the book. Nineteenth Century records can also be found Table 1: Lucanus cervus L. (in Morley, 1899) Occasionally in Suffolk Bury district, rare Battisford, several

Stephens Manual Tuck In coli, of Baker Allen

Males and females at Hill House, Belstead, several years ago Foster-Melliar Comparatively common, at Sproughton * Morley Not uncommon about Ipswich * Morley It also occurs near Cläre * = see notes; East Anglian Daily Times 23rd. April, 1898 Appended records: Sparingly at Lowestoft A male c.1880 at Earl Soham Rectory Several at Stratford St. Mary Common in Chantry Park in Sproughton c.1890

Bedwell Rev. Henry Groom In coli. Rev. H. A. Harris, Thorndon F. Woolnough

A 1929 record is also appended: At Woodbridge Abbey in 1929

* Morley, E. A. D. T.

* = see notes; East Anglian Daily Times 27th. August, 1929

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in Morley's diaries, and a specimen (dated 1894) from Ipswich is present in his collections. Morley's collections and diaries were left to the Suffolk Naturalists' Society and are deposited at Ipswich Museum. 1900-1989 More than sixty years on some 400 records were brought together by Clark (1966) to illustrate the distribution of the stag beetle in Britain, but only nine localities were listed for Suffolk. Records for the stag beetle in Suffolk brought together in the present survey, for the period 1900-1989, come from a wide variety of sources. They are scattered thinly in the literature, in newspaper cuttings and among entomological collections. Records have also been provided by the Field Studies Council at Fiatford and via a number of personal communications. The 22 localities for Suffolk are listed below. Location, year and (source) for Lucanus cervus 1900-1989: Assington, 1951 (Grant, 1951); Battisford, 1950 (Cambridge, 1950); Belstead, 1902 (Morley collection); 1968 and in subsequent years (D. Farrow, pers. comm.); 1984 (K. Potter, pers. comm.); Bentley, 1937-1955 (Mrs. G. Dickerson, pers. comm.); 1989 (C. Hawes); Brantham, 1950s (S. Northfield, pers. comm.); 1959-1994 (Mr. Dewett, pers. comm.); 1964 (Clark, 1965); Capel St. Mary, 1979-1994 (D. Green, pers. comm.); East Bergholt, 1988, 1989 (R. Thorp, pers. comm.); Felixstowe, 1948 (Anon. 1948); Fiatford, 1954, 1957, 1958 (Field Studies Council, Fiatford); Freston, 1947 (Campbell, 1994); Holbrook, 1960 (Semmence, 1960); Ipswich, 1930s (Mr. Button, pers. comm.); 1942 (Ellis, 1946); 1950 (Simpson, 1950); 1951 (Chipperfield collection); 1985 (Steggall, 1986); Kersey, 1964 (Clark, 1965); Kirton, 1988, 1989 (B. Deex, pers. comm.); Nacton, 1957-1989 (B. Sharman, pers. comm.); Nayland, 1934 (Anon. 1934); Needham Market, 1938 (Morley collection); 1960s (D. Girling, pers. comm.); Rushmere, 1940 (Morley collection); 1961 (D. Nash, pers. comm.); Shotley, 1978 (M. Cooper, 1979); Thorington Street, 1963 (Clark, 1965); Westerfield, early 1960s and 1968 (D. Nash, pers. comm.); Woodbridge, 1925 (Hall, 1964); 1929 (Morley, 1899); 1952 (Clark, 1965); 1986 (A. Colison, pers. comm.); Woolverstone, 1962 (Hall, 1964). 1990-1997 Data collected during the present survey was obtained largely from the general public. There was publicity in the local and regional press via the Evening Star and the East Anglian Daily Times (June, 1994) with requests for sightings of the beetle to be reported to the author or to the Suffolk Biological Records Centre. Together the newspapers had a circulation of 78,000 and gave a wide coverage of the County. Additional requests for sightings were published in White Admiral, the newsletter of the Suffolk Naturalists' Society, covering some 700 subscribers across Suffolk. Photographs of the male beetle accompanied the articles which appeared in the press, thus aiding identification. With its large 'antlers' the male is such a distinctive insect that it was feit that records could be accepted from non-specialists without invalidating the results of the survey. Further requests for sightings were made via the same publications in 1995.

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By the end of 1995, 203 respondents had written or telephoned to report their sightings. The survey was continued in 1996 and was completed at the end of 1997, by which time the number of respondents had increased to 252. Several determined observers reported their findings in all four years of the survey, and some were able to supply pre-1994 data. All records were carefully scrutinised and any that feil outside the survey area were excluded (nine pertained to Essex) as were those that obviously resulted from mis-identification. Additionally many respondents reported their observations on the beetle's behaviour and ecology. Some observers sent in very detailed records. These valuable, first-hand observations are included, where appropriate, in the sections which follow. Distribution Including historical data, stag beetles were recorded for 68 parishes in Suffolk, and between 1990 and 1997 beetles were re-recorded in 61 of these localities (Table 2). Beetles were not refound at seven localities (indicated by * Table 2). The lack of records for these sites could simply be due to lack of recorders. However, the apparent disappearance of the insect from the most westerly and northerly locations (Bury district, Cläre, Earl Soham and Lowestoft) might indicate that it has become more restricted in its ränge. Records came predominantly from Ipswich, Woodbridge and across the Shotley and Felixstowe peninsulas with a bias towards the more highly populated areas. The majority of records came from streets and gardens, but a wide variety of location was reported including urban parks, farmland, hedgerows, orchards, allotments, railway embankments, churchyards, school grounds, timberyards and woodland edges. With few exceptions L. cervus appears to be restricted to the south east of the County, a pattern shown by both the pre and post-1990 data (Fig. 1). The data collected suggests that there are significant colonies throughout the Borough of Ipswich, in Woodbridge and at a number of sites on the peninsulas between the rivers Deben and Stour. It has been suggested that soil and climatic factors might combine to limit the distribution of L. cervus (Whitehead, 1993). It is interesting to note that no records to date have come from sites on the boulder clay which Covers most of central Suffolk. Examination of the geological and soil maps for Suffolk suggests a close relationship between the distribution of the stag beetle and soil type. Pupation, diapause and emergence above ground would all be affected by soil type. Pupation occurs in the soil and soil particles are used by the larva as one of the materials for building the pupal cocoon; imagos emerging late from the cocoon remain in a State of suspended animation in the soil over winter, and the beetle's exit from the ground necessitates it digging an almost vertical tunnel through the soil to the surface (Klausnitzer, 1995). Temperature probably also plays an important role in Controlling the beetle's ränge. The distribution of L. cervus might be associated with areas

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which experience mean summer temperatures above a certain threshold value; the beetle might also be confined to regions where the winter soil temperature does not fall below a critical point.The distribution has yet to be fully explained and Warrants further investigation.

Table 2: Localities for L. cervus in Suffolk: earliest and latest year recorded. * not refound in the present survey. 1994 Aldham 1951 Assington* Barham 1995 1899 Battisford* 1899 Belstead Bentley 1937 1994 Bramford Brantham 1959 Brightwell 1997 Bucklesham 1994 Bury St. Edmunds District* 1868 Capel St. Mary 1979 Chelmondiston 1994 Cläre* 1897 Copdock 1994 East Bergholt 1988 Earl Soham* 1880 Erwarton 1992 Felixstowe 1948 Fiatford 1938 Freston 1947 Gosbeck 1997 Great Waldingfield 1996 Great Wenham 1997 Grundisburgh 1996 Hadleigh 1991 Harkstead 1994 Higham (nr Hadleigh) 1996 Holbrook 1960 Ipswich 1890 Kersey* 1964 Kesgrave 1994 Kirton 1988 Layham 1993 Le vington 1994

1950 1997 1997 1996 1997 1997

1994 1995


1995 1994 1994


1997 1997

1996 1995 1997

Little Waldingfield Little Wenham Lowestoft* Martlesham Melton Monewden Nacton Nayland Needham Market Newboume Orford Playford Polstead Raydon Rushmere St Andrew Shelley Shotley Somersham Sproughton Stoke-by-Nayland Stowmarket Stratford St. Mary Stutton Tattingstone Thorington Street Waldringfield Westerfield Wherstead Wiston Woodbridge Woolverstone Yoxford

1996 1997 1899 1995 1994 1997 1957 1934 1938 1994 1996 1994 1995 1994 1940 1992 1978 1994 1890 1994 1995 1899 1993 1993 1963 1995 1968 1993 1994 1925 1962 1997

1997 1997 1995 1996 1997 1997 1997 1997 1997 1996 1996 1997 1997 1996 1996 1996 1996 1997 1996 1997 1997

Unconfirmed records were also received from Holton near Haiesworth 1995 and Wenhaston 1996.

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Figure 1. Distribution in Suffolk Adult activity period Exit holes produced by emerging adults were reported by several respondents, and one observer noted that a 's tag beetle emerged from a hole in the ground where an old silver birch tree stoodfor many years'. Adults were also observed 'in small burrows in the soil at the base of a hedge' by another respondent. Several observers reported adults emerging from decaying tree stumps, and an early 'emergence' record (29th. April) came from one respondent who noted a live male beetle which had been revealed at the base of a newly fallen elm tree. Peak periods for emergence varied in relation to the weather. The cold, wet conditions during the first three weeks of June 1997 delayed emergence of most stag beetles and peak emergence occurred in July. The earliest sighting of a live stag beetle in Suffolk, a male, was in Bentley on 20th May 1997, but earlier dates have been recorded outside the County (Bowdrey, 1991; Morris, 1991; Clark, 1965). Previous work suggests that males become active about one week before the females (Hall, 1961; Clark, 1964). These observations are supported by the records received during the Suffolk survey. The period of greatest activity is June and July but live beetles may still be around into September (Verdcourt, 1988). The latest date for a live adult beetle in Suffolk, a male, was recorded in Holbrook on 6th October, 1996.

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J a n Feb


Mar Apr




Kay J u n J u l






S e p Oct





Figure 2. Percentage of adults by week (all records). Flight Flight was observed by many respondents and was reported to occur predominantly at dusk, between 21.00 hrs. and 22.00 hrs. Several observers noted that flight activity corresponded with warm, still evenings. Observations by the author confirm these reports. Two respondents gave colourful descriptions of stag beetle flight: 'whirring like helicopters' and 'flying tail-down, like Concorde Coming in to land'. Most reports were of males in flight, either singly or in small numbers of up to ten, but 'swarms' of flying beetles were also observed at four widely separated localities; in one case, at Holbrook (1993), the observer 'stopped counting at 50' and estimated that at least twice that number were airborne. Beetles flying and 'returning to trees' or 'landing in trees' were reported on two occasions. They have also been noted by the author flying at 15 '-20' alongside lime and sycamore trees. Landing was recorded on one occasion and reported as 'clumsy'. 'Strong' flight was observed but no estimates of distance travelled were received. Distances of up to one mile are given by Clark (1964), whilst Klausnitzer (1995) notes males flying to females from as far away as 5km. A number of observations were made of male stag beetles flying to lighted Windows or through open windows into lit rooms. Climbing A significant number of stag beetles (mostly males) were noted climbing the walls of houses and two were discovered in the loft of one residence

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(presumably having crawled in under the eaves). Possibly walls are used as Substitute tree trunks, either to gain height before Aying or to obtain a better Position from which to detect pheromones. Dispersal How far females travel to colonise new breeding sites appears not to be known. There may be no urge to disperse if plenty of dead wood is available in the vicinity where the beetle emerges from the soil. Records of isolated individuals might result from transportation, beetles having been accidentally imported in/on vehicles. There is some evidence for this from Norfolk where there appear to be no breeding colonies yet Single specimens turn up from time to time (Irwin, pers. comm.). Evidence of transportation in Suffolk was reported by one respondent at Copdock who noted larvae in beech logs imported from Ipswich. Fighting and defensive behaviour The enlarged mandibles of the male are not suited to feeding; their function is mainly in pre-mating competition with other males, but they are also used in defence. Many observers reported the defensive behaviour - head raised with mandibles agape - which was shown when the beetles were being threatened. Tochtermann (1992) points out that the male has been known to ward off birds in this way. Fighting between males in the wild was observed by several respondents one of whom reported 'the antlers seem to be a perfect fit' to grasp the other male '...and is accompanied by the noise offeet scratching on the underlying surface!'. On this occasion the fight between two males, over a Single female, took place on the branch of a tree, and the rival male, being gripped by its thorax, was lifted bodily in the air (Steggall, 1996). Mamonov (1991) reported up to four males actively fighting over one female. Males were observed to fight readily if placed in confinement. Usually the larger of the two males would seize its rival and attempt to turn it on its back, but the defensive stance would sometimes be sufficient to cause a rival to back off. Mating and development One observer reported a female stag beetle being 'courted' by three males. Males are strongly attracted to females, sensing their presence even when they are separated visually from them. This, and the fact that males have been attracted to crushed females (Bowdrey, 1997) would seem to suggest that pheromones are involved. A Single record was received of stag beetles mating in the wild, and the insects mated readily in captivity. Egg-laying was not observed. The very large, white, C-shaped larvae, which take up to five years to develop, were accidentally dug up by respondents on a number of occasions (Ipswich Museum enquiries). Adults were also unearthed during winter. Observation on captive larvae (Bowdrey, 1997) have shown that the adults emerge

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from the pupal case in late autumn but remain inactive until the following summer. Whilst there were no records of pupae being unearthed during the survey these have been noted by several authors (Klausnitzer, 1995). Pupation is reported to occur in the soil, close to the breeding substrate, where the larva builds a cocoon out of compost and soil particles. Larvae: food and habitat Stag beetle larvae feed on the damp, decaying wood of broad-leaved trees, usually at or below ground level. They are found mainly in stumps, the lower parts of damp rotting logs and fallen trees, and degraded roots. Developing larvae can also utilise the soft, decaying wood of fence posts. The literature suggests that the beetle shows a predilection for Quercus (oak) (Klausnitzer, 1995) but evidence of breeding has been recorded from a variety of tree species, especially Tilia (lime), Ulmus (elm) and Fagus (beech) (Verdcourt, 1988; Morris, 1991; Hyman & Parsons, 1992). A recent survey into the distribution of L. cervus in north-east Essex (Bowdrey, 1997) lists Betula sp. (birch), Fagus sylvatica (beech), Quercus (oak), Salix sp. (willow), Ulmus sp. (elm), Prunus domestica (plum), Buddleia sp. (butterfly bush), Forsythia sp. (forsythia) and Syringa sp. (lilac) as confirmed breeding sites. Stag beetle larvae have also been recorded from Pyrus (pear) in Surrey (Owen, 1992), whilst in Europe a further four types of broad-leaved wood have Table 3: Trees with confirmed breeding record of Lucanus cervus in Suffolk. Tree species


Betula sp.


Crataegus sp.


Adult emerged from soil where birch tree once stood. Larvae in decaying stump.

Fagus sylvatica


Larvae in rotting logs.

Fraxinus excelsior Juglans sp.

Ash Walnut

Colony in dead roots of felled tree (adults and larvae). Adults emerging from roots.

Malus sp.


Populus sp.


Larvae in decaying stump; larvae in rotting log. Adults emerging from old stump.

Prunus sp.


Larvae in old stump.

Prunus spinosa


Quercus sp.


Salix sp.


50-100 larvae in rotting blackthorn fence posts, some over two feet down. Adult emerging from stump; larvae in rotting logs. Adults emerging from stump.

Syringa sp.


Larvae in rotting roots.

Ulmus sp.


Adult exposed at base of newly windblown tree; larvae in rotting stump; adults emerging from stump. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 34 (1998)


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been associated with the beetle: Alnus (alder); Carpinus (hornbeam); Morus (mulberry) and Aesculus (horse-chestnut) (Klausnitzer, 1995). In Suffolk, during the present survey, evidence of breeding was found in 13 tree species. The majority of records were from respondents who found larvae whilst digging out old tree stumps, or when moving logs; but 50-100 larvae were exposed by one observer when digging out some rotten, blackthorn fence posts. Larvae found in the rotting compost of discarded cat litter provided an unusual record, as did those discovered in a decaying wooden spacer between the concrete slabs of one observer's driveway. The data from Suffolk and elsewhere shows that the stag beetle is polyphagous, with a wide variety of different tree species being used as larval food. It may be that choice of egg-laying site is determined not so much by species of timber but by factors such as degree of decay, moisture content and the presence of specific fungi (Bowdrey, 1997). Perhaps, too, some types of wood are more difficult for the larvae to utilise, or are less nutritious than others, thereby affecting growth and producing the considerable Variation in adult body size described by Clark (1967). Adult feeding Only one report of an adult beetle feeding was received - a male taking nectar from the copious flow provided by a red-hot poker inflorescence (Kniphofia sp.). Fruit and exudates on trees are cited as food sources in the literature (Hyman & Parsons, 1992; Klausnitzer, 1995). Adults are attracted to sugar (Morley, 1894) and in captivity have fed readily on a variety of sugary foods (Mamonov, 1991; Bowdrey, 1997). The nectar from the flowers of lime trees (Tilia sp.) and honeydew on sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) might also be sources of energy for the beetle. Mortality Every year many stag beetles are the unwitting victims of traffic and human feet. Few of the records received from respondents to the survey were for dead stag beetles (3%), but approximately half of these (25) referred to 'squashed" insects found on the road (18) or on footpaths (7). In contrast, the majority of dead stag beetles found by the author appeared to be the crushed victims of road traffic. Records of crushed beetles found along some of the roads in the village of Bentley over a nine year period seem to suggest that females are more likely to fall victim to road traffic than males. Table 4: Road casualties in Bentley (1989-1997). Total daytime number of live and dead beetles seen on the roads in Bentley. Number crushed on road. Percentage of crushed males. Percentage of crushed females. Crushed males as a percentage of total males. Crushed females as a percentage of total females.

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320 81 9% 91% 7% 34%

Ă–"105, 5 215 d




The number of stag beetle road casualties reported by Bowdrey (1997) leads to the conclusion that road traffic is a significant cause of death. Only one instance of stag beetles being trodden on deliberately was recorded. Such cases are fortunately few and as Bowdrey (1997) points out are usually the result of fear or ignorance. Beetles in danger of accidentally drowning were rescued by respondents on three occasions - two from buckets and one from a partly-filled hand-basin. One beetle was found dead in a swimming pool. Predation Records of stag beetle predators came from respondents to the present survey and from the literature. Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) predation was observed at three separate locations (Kirton, 1993; Belstead, 1994; Stutton, 1995) and one respondent managed to capture the 'action' on video. Predation by Hedgehog is also mentioned by Bowdrey (1997). Interaction between stag beetles and birds was recorded on four occasions. One beetle was seen to be taken by a Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) which proceeded to hammer it on the ground just as it would a snail, then ate it except for the 'body armour and jaws' (Hawes, 1995). Two instances of magpies feeding on stag beetles were reported. The Magpie (Pica pico.) appears to be a significant predator on L. cervus (Verdcourt, 1988; Baker, 1990; Hawes, 1992; Bowdrey, 1997). Like the thrush, it has been noted to feed on the soft parts of the beetle but discards the head, legs and elytra. At one location the remains of 55 beetles (29 males and 26 females) proved to be due to the attention of magpies (Hawes, 1992). A sparrow (Passer sp.) was seen chasing a stag beetle in Bourne Park, Ipswich, but the observer was unable to see whether it caught it and ate it. Sparrow predation has also been reported by Bowdrey (1997). An interesting record is that which provides evidence of Little Owl (Athene noctua) predation on L. cervus\ this comes from an owl pellet containing the stag beetle's 'claspers' (Anon, 1953). Several instances of cats catching and 'playing' with stag beetles were reported. One cat was observed to 'jumpfor the beetles' and 'knock them out of the air'. No records were received of a cat eating a beetle, but this has been reported by Mamonov (1991) and Bowdrey (1997). Conservation The main threat to the stag beetle is the loss of dead wood habitat. Wood that has not at least partly decayed will not be attractive to egg-laying females. Much dead wood unfortunately continues to be unnecessarily 'tidied up' and cleared away. In addition, the ready supply of decaying stumps and roots left arter the onslaught of Dutch elm disease is gradually dwindling, thus breeding Sites have become increasingly scarce. Many miles of hedgerow have been grubbed out and much broad-leaved timber has been replaced with conifers turther contributing to the reduction of stag beetle habitat. u m a ' n t a ' n s t a 8 beetle numbers we need to redress the balance and ensure that there is continuity of dead-wood habitat.

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Male Stag Beetle (life size) Habitat maintenance and creation •

stumps and roots are most useful for stag beetles and should be retained wherever possible.

well-decayed stumps or logs should be left in situ since they may already be colonised.

keep as much dead, broad-leaved wood as possible and create dead wood log piles in moist, shady places. Timber in contact with or partly buried in the soil is best. Larger diameter logs are most useful, but brashings, prunings, thinnings and sawdust will also attract beetles if kept in piles that are allowed to rot down.

living, but damaged trees exhibiting areas of decay also provide useful habitat as do standing dead trees and these should be preserved wherever possible. Where health and safety risks are involved, pollarding or crown reduction should be considered first. A lopped or pollarded tree may be made safe for decades even when riddled with decay.

replace lost trees with broad-leaved species.

plant more broad-leaved species.

Protection . . . The stag beetle L. cervus is regarded as a Nationally Scarce insect in Britam The picture is much the same in the rest of Europe, and the beetle is listed as a species requiring Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) in the EC Habitats and Species Directive (Annex II). It is also on the Bern Convention of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Appendix HI). In many countries it is a protected species.

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In Britain it has recently been placed on Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) making trade in the species illegal. Additionally L. cervus is one of 116 'short list' species which form the highest priority in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (1995). A Suffolk Local Biodiversity Action Plan for the species was produced in 1998. Surveying and monitoring Searching for larvae in stumps and logs is destructive of habitat. Records are best obtained by: •

targeting possible sites (hedgerows, tree stumps, fallen logs)

looking for adults in flight (at dusk, on warm, windless evenings in June and July)

searching for adult remains (victims of traffic; predator casualties)

Where L. cervus is found, selected sites can be visited throughout the stag beetle 'season' and then annually to monitor numbers. Summary and Conclusion Although in decline nationally, L. cervus appears to be widely distributed in parts of south-east Suffolk, with strongholds in Ipswich, Woodbridge and on the Shotley and Felixstowe peninsulas. Beetles were found in a wide variety of locations including, importantly, gardens. Despite the extreme artificiality of most gardens many appear to have rotting, broad-leaved tree stumps and other suitable stag beetle habitat. The key to protecting the stag beetle rests on our willingness, or otherwise, to keep the dead wood in situ at these and at other suitable sites, or to use it in the creation of new habitat for the species. A greater understanding of the beetles ecology is required before further conservation details can be determined. Many questions still need to be answered, for example: •

Do females produce pheromones?

How far do the females disperse?

What attracts females to egg-laying sites? If suitable habitat is close to their emergence site are females inhibited from dispersing more widely?

What stimulates females to fly? What is the nutritional value of different tree/timber species? What microclimatic conditions of the timber are important? Is there an association between L. cervus and specific saproxylic fungi? What is the best microclimate for the position of logs/stumps? What part do climatic factors play in the distribution of L. cervus? Do edaphic factors affect the distribution of L. cervus?

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Acknowledgements The author gratefully acknowledges the support and commitment of the Suffolk Naturalists' Society and the Suffolk Biological Records Centre during the survey and in the production of this report. I am indebted to Martin Sanford for his valuable help and advice, and especially to Reg Clarke for all kinds of practical help relating to the computerisation of records, word-processing the text and map production using DMAP Software written by Dr Alan Morton (Dept. of Pure and Applied Biology, Imperial College, Silwood Park, Ascot, Berks. SL5 7PY). I also thank J. Bowdrey (Colchester Museums), Dr A. G. Irwin (Castle Museum, Norwich) E. J. Jackson (Fiatford Mill Field Centre), and D. Nash for generously allowing access to their records for L. cervus, and Mr. R. Thorp who kindly translated sections from Klausnitzer's Die Hirschkäfer. Thanks are also due to the many observers who sent in their sightings and observations; without them the production of the distribution map would have been impossible. References Anon, (1934). Proceedings, Obituary: Eric Kirkby. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 2: cciii. Anon, (1948). Proceedings, Exhibitions. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 6: xcvin. Anon, (1953). Proceedings, Exhibitions. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 8: lxxxiii. Baker, N. (1990). Magpie feeding on stag beetles. The Harrier., 88: 12. Bowdrey, J. (1991). Early Stag beetles (Lucanus cervus L.) in Colchester. Entomologist's Ree. J. Var., 103: 300. Bowdrey, J. (1997). The Stag Beetle Lucanus cervus L. (Coleoptera : Lu canidae) in north-east Essex: Results of the 1996 Colchester 'Search for Stag Beetles' survey. The Essex Naturalist, 1997: 79-88. Cambridge, P. (1950). The Beetles of a pit. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 7 (2): 83. Campbell, C. (1994). Stag Beetles on Freston Hill, Shotley peninsula. The Suffolk Sage, June/July 1994. Clark, J. T. (1964). The stag beetle in north-east Essex. The Essex Naturalist., 31: 167-172. Clark, J. T. (1965). The Stag Beetle. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 13: 86-89. Clark, J. T. (1966). The distribution of Lucanus cervus (L.) (Coleoptera Lucanidae) in Britain. Ent. Mon. Mag., 102: 199-204. Clark, J. T. (1967). Extremes of size in Lucanus cervus (L.) (Coleoptera : Lucanidae). Ent. Mon. Mag., 103: 24-25. Cooper, M. (1979). Notes and Observations. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 18: 112. Curtis, J. (1834). British Entomology, Vol. XI. London: published by the author. Donovan, E. (1792). The Natural History of British Insects. Vol. 1. pnnted tor the author and for F. & C. Rivington. Ellis, E. A. (1946). In: Coleopterous Notes of 1946. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 6: 53-54. Fowler, Rev. Canon. (1890) Coleoptera of the British Islands. Vol. IV. L. Reeve & Co. London. Grant, H. C. (1951). South Suffolk beetles. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 7: 127 Hall, D. G. (1961). The Stag beetle survey - first report. The London Naturalist, 40: 80-82. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 34 (1998)



Hall, D. G. (1964). Distribution of the Stag Beetle in Britain. The London Naturalist, 43: 67-72. Hawes, C. J. (1992). Stag Beetles and Magpies. White Admiral, 22: 3-4. Hawes, C. J. (1993). Stag beetle records and dead wood. White Admiral, 26: 9-10. Hawes, C. J. (1994). Staggering response. White Admiral, 29: 15. Hawes, C. J. (1995). Stag beetles 1995. White Admiral, 32: 12. Hawes, C. J. (1996). Stag beetle update. White Admiral, 35: 28. Hawes, C. J. (1997). Stag beetles 1997. White Admiral, 38: 17. Hawes, C. J. (1998). An Essex survey bonus. White Admiral, 39: 31. Hyman, P. S. & Parsons, M. S. (1992). A review of the scarce and threatened Coleoptera of Great Britain, Part 1. U. K. Nature Conservation No. 3 J.N.C.C. Klausnitzer, B. (1995) Die Hirschkäfer. Westarp Wissenschaften. Heideiburg. Mamonov, G. (1991). The Great European Stag beetle - its past and its future. A. E. S. Bulletin., 50: 157-163. Morley, C. (1894). Notes on collecting, etc. The Entomologist's Record., Vol. VI: 114. Morley, C. (1899) Coleoptera of Suffolk. J. H. Keys. Plymouth. Morley, C. (1911) Coleoptera. In: Page, W. (ed.), 1911. The Victoria history of the counties of England. Suffolk. Vol. 1. Constable. London. Morris, R. K. A. (1991). An exceptionally early date for the Stag beetle. Lucanus cervus L. Ent. Ree., 103: 106. Owen, J. A. (1992). Lucanids in the garden. Entomologist's Ree. J. War., 104: 326. Semmence, J. (1960). Stag beetle. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 11: 360. Simpson, F. (1950). Some beetles of 1950. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 7: 82. Steggall, M. (1996). Stag beetles fight for a female. White Admiral, 35: 28. Steggall, P. (1986). Stag party. The Countryman, Spring 1986: 98. Stephens, J. F. (1839). Manual of British Coleoptera. Longman & Co., London. Tochtermann, E. (1992). In: Klausnitzer, B., Die Hirschkäfer. Westarp Wissenschaften. Heideiburg. Verdcourt, B. (1988). Late stag beetles. Ent. Mon. Mag., 124: 36. Whitehead, P. F. (1993). Lucanus cervus (L.) (Coleoptera : Lucanidae) in Worcestershire with a hypothesis for its distribution. Ent. Mon. Mag., 129: 206. Colin Hawes 3 Silver Leys Bentley Ipswich IP9 2BS

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The Golden Hoverfly, Callicera spinolae Rondani-possible Suffolk sighting in 1997 Following Dr. Tony Irwin's mention of Mr. Ivan Perry's notes on the status of Callicera spinolae in Britain, I wrote to Mr. Perry, who kindly drew my attention to an English Nature publication which reports his recent recovery work on this species, some of it in Suffolk. It is very exciting to read that Mr.Perry is fairly certain that he saw a C. spinolae at TTiornham Magna on 20 September 1997 at 1.20 pm but it was high up and made only a brief visit to ivy-blossom on a dead tree. This was the only specimen observed in 1997 but English Nature's species recovery programme is scheduled to continue in the autumn of 1998. The 1997 survey covered various sites in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk; it included searches for larvae in rot-holes and for imagines at ivy-blossom. It would be most encouraging if Claude Morley's supposition were proved to be correct, namely that this splendid hoverer could survive in Suffolk. Reference Rotheray, G. E. (1997). Callicera spinolae Species Recovery Interim Report, including recommendations forfuture work. English Nature, Peterborough. Alasdair Aston Lesser Golden Hoverfly, Callicera aurata Rossi 1790 (= Aenea Fabricius 1777) (Diptera: Syrphidae) new to Suffolk My interest in the Syrphid genus Callicera was recently revived by the arrival of two specimens of C. aurata at my cottage mv lamp in Seiborne, Hampshire, on 25 August 1995 and on 10 July 1996. Both specimens were named for me by Dr. Nigel Wyatt of the Natural History Museum. These two occurrences sent me back to the literature, where I was reminded that in 1942 Claude Morley at first thought his Callicera spinolae might be C. aurata, a species he noted as occurring singly in various counties but only regularly in the New Forest: he had not seen it in Suffolk. I was, therefore, delighted the other day to come across a note by Ivan Perry in the Dipterist's Digest to the effect that he had found several larvae of C. aurata on 12 March 1995 in a birch rot-hole at Tuddenham Heath, Suffolk, part of the Cavenham Heath National Nature Reserve. The larvae were identified by Dr. Graham E. Rotheray of the National Museums of Scotland. Mr. Perry's discovery is important for several reasons, one being the association with birch, which may help to explain the fly's occurrence away from beech, and another is the national extension of the ränge of C. aurata, which had not before been recorded from East Anglia. References Morley, C. (1942) Golden Hoverer-Fly new to Britain. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 5: 14. Perry, 1.(1997). Callicera aurata in Suffolk found breeding in birch. Dipterist's Digest, 3: 53. Alasdair Aston

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 34



s Plate 5: Stag Beetle (Lucanus cer\'us L.) adult and larva (p. 35).

The Stag Beetle Lucanus cervus L. (Coleoptera: Lucanidae) in Suffolk a first report  

Hawes, C. J.

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