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Agriopis aurantiaria
find out more... Scarce Umber larvae Copyright: Robert Smith

Essex Field Club
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Essex Field Club

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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are closed due to the Covid-19 situation, but we are otherwise normally open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm, check. We are also normally open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.

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This forum has now been more or less replaced by the Club's Facebook page at
Essex Field Club on Facebook

The weblog below is for naturalists to use to report interesting sightings, ask questions, report on field meetings and generally post pictures and any information or questions generally relevant in some way to the wildlife and geology of Essex. You will need to register and be logged-on to post to the forum, and you need to upload pictures first, for use in posts. Find out more

Sat 26th June 2010 11:57 by Graham Smith
Lesser Stag Beetle?
Mary : A coleopterist I am not but your beetle could have been a Lesser Stag Beetle Dorcus parallelpipedus. They occasionally turn up in my moth trap at Ingatestone. Mind you, I have relied on Chinery (1993) for indentification, who states that, unlike the female Stag Beetle, the Lesser has only one tooth on the middle tibia. Identifying beetles from a popular field guide is likely to bring me a severe reprimand from the Club committee! The moth trap also turns up a few other beetles each year; most often the Great Diving Beetle Dytiscus marginalis; Cockchafer Melolontha melolontha, and various Burying Beetles Nicrophorus sp., including one or more species from the beautiful orange banded group and what is probably N.humator, an all black beetle with orange clubs to its antennae. Later in the summer I catch large numbers of Water Boatmen - alright, a bug not a beetle - and painstaking work it is too removing them from the trap and putting them back in the pond! At Blue House reserve last year we caught 26 Great Silver Beetles Hydrophilus piceus in the moth trap; or at least made twenty-six captures, three in a single night on one occasion. Dor or Dung Beetles Geotrupes sp. also turn up occasionally but not as many as you would expect, given the quantity of dung in the fields. I am told this is because the medication they give cattle to treat internal parasites is toxic to beetle larvae feeding on their dung. Finally, if you are still with me, Harlequin Ladybirds have become a frequent bycatch in both traps in recent years although I rarely catch any native species. Whether this is because they are more susceptible to light attraction or because they have eaten all the native ones I am not sure! Graham


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