Stag Beetles Losing Habitat in Britain
They are the largest insect in the UK, the famous black to dark brown, antlered creature known as the “stag beetle.” In recent years, their range of territory throughout southern England has remained stable, but their numbers are falling.
As with other insects, like honeybees and butterflies in the U.S., the beetles have lost habitat. They make their homes in piles of rotting wood, where they spend most of their lives. The grow to maturity in woodpiles, and come out into the light for a brief lifespan of adulthood for only a few weeks.
But gardener’s have changed their ways, and rotting wood piles are a rare sight these days. This is the era of the pristine garden, with all the evidence of debris cleaned up or moved away.
Conservation officers for organizations like People’s Trust for Endangered Species are asking Britons to count the Beetles they see, in an effort to inventory how many are left in their usual stomping grounds.
The stag beetle is part of a family of beetles that includes over 1,200 species. The typically grow anywhere from five to thirteen centimeters.
Except in southern England, the south and west coastal areas, and the Severn valley, the stag beetle is rare or extinct.