I’ll go on! First I show you one more impressive beetle: ‘The Sawyer’ (Prionus coriarius – Sägebock). With its size of almost 5 cm of length and its heavy built, you are always fascinated by this beetle! It is widespread but not extremely common. Nevertheless, yesterday my brother found one and an hour later I found another one.
Prionus coriarius – Sägebock This is a male thanks to its longe and strongly sawn antennas
Prionus coriarius – Sägebock
Now the last one in this row: Trichoferus pallidus (Blasser Alteichen-Nachtbock). It is extremely(!!) rare in Germany and is threatened with extinction. It needs old, stalling oaks for its development. It prefers treetops, it lives nocturnal and – just as reminder – is extremely rare. You want to see it? Really difficult – you need to be a very lucky guy!
A friend who wanted to find it, checked in good habitat every night a little forest. It took one month until he saw one single one…
All I say to you is: There was one single tree, not very special for us – but very special for a lot of different animals. Of course there are hundreds of other species, that lived on this tree. These were just the most obvious ones. And I am sure, there were other trees in that forest, that hold also a very special range of species.
Summarised, all these beetles depend on old, stalling oaks. There are few places left in Germany, where they can find such trees and still live their lifes. They will survive only, if we take the initiative and protect their habitat…
I spent few days, visiting friends in different parts of Germany and met my custodian for my dissertation. So, again, the blogpost is late.
Nevertheless, here some more informations about the animals in this special oak tree. Here is one more longhorn beetle – with 10 to 19 mm not as big as the last one, but more colourful: It is Plagionotus detritus (Hornissenbock) – a beetle whose population is strongly vulnerable in Germany. As the former beetle, it needs oaks for its developement.
The next one is Gasterocercus depressirostris (Plattnasen-Holzrüssler) – again it is a species dependent in old oak trees. It is a small beetle with 4-11 mm of size and a relict of the original forests in central Europe. So it needs old oaks with a lot of deadwood to live. As this kind of habitat is scarce in our country, its population is strongly vulnerable in Germany, too.
Gasterocercus depressirostris (Plattnasen-Holzrüssler) are well camouflaged
In middle Europe, some of the most important tree species for insects is surely the Oak Quercus spec. Thousands of different insect species are adapted to survive just with oaks.
For example look at this oak:
Can you see anything special? Not a lot – but look at the bottom: There is saw dust around the tree. Except of this, I couldn’t find anything special. But it was! This single tree hold some very special and scarce species of beetles that no other tree there hold. I will introduce them step by step.
One of the most obvious species was the Great Capricorn Beetle Cerambyx cerdo (Eichenheldbock). Ok, in the following row, it is one of the most common species, but it is a FFH-species. This means, it is an important species that helps to protect areas. It is one of our largest beetles with a length of up to 55 mm of length (without the antennae).
It develops in old oaks and occurs especially in the Rheinaue wetlands.
As it eats big holes in the oak wood, it was eradicated in the most parts of Germany. But there are few places left, where you still can encounter this amazing beetle.