Finding A Longhorn Beetle

#30DaysWild No 6. We found this long horn beetle climbing up the window. So we looked it up before letting it fly off.

Recently, the North Devon Biosphere Reserve team gave us a couple of wildlife exploration kits for young eco lodge guests to borrow, complete with a pretty good ID guide. So we leafed through the pictures, and sure enough found the beetle, Strangalia maculata.

Or at least we think this is the right one. There are thousands of longhorn beetle species around the world. Still, if we found it climbing up the window it’s unlikely to be hugely rare. Apparently, the larvae live in deadwood, emerging as adults in May. The beetles are often seen on hawthorn, where they like to feed on pollen. Adults are found fairly frequently until August.

Previously on #30DaysWild

This time last year: we were spotting brimstone butterflies laying eggs on alder buckthorn. We’ve seen a few in 2021, but it’s not a bumper year for butterflies so far. Let’s hope we have a warmer June and July – then the lodge field will be full of butterflies.

This time in 2019: Guests had spotted a water shrew at the wildlife pond below Balebarn Lodge. Quite a find. We saw it a few times, but haven’t seen any recently.

This time in 2018: Not shews, but guests wild swimming in the pond. You’re welcome to take a dip, but be warned you’ll share it not just with moorhen chicks and timid mallards but also with masses of toad and frog tadpoles, and a whole host of other aquatic invertebrates.

This time in 2017: It was a bit windy, but this robin had ventured out of its nest for a maiden flight. In 2021 our favourite robin has had two failed broods, but seems to be working on a third try. Fingers crossed.