Charging Rhino

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday 3 June 2010 19:55

I split my afternoon off evenly between The Mens and Ebernoe. The first thing I saw at The Mens was the RDB2 saproxylic hymenoptera mimic cranefly Ctenophora flaveolata. It was hanging around in some Holly next to a fallen Beech. The literature says it does not warrant RDB status and it's not all that far from where one was found a month ago. They are amazing looking beasts the Ctenophoras but I am afraid it flew off before I could get a photo. I didn't see much more at The Mens but in Badlands I beat another Anaglyptus mysticus off of Aspen. I only saw my first one yesterday!

I left for Ebernoe and found a smart looking Onthophagus sp. in the glades but little else. Leconfield Glade though was much more interesting. Where the huge Beech started to fall down a few years ago, I found four nationally scarce species on one limb! Hylecoetus dermestoides was new to the site, I saw both male and female. There were four or five Melasis buprestoides crawling over the cracking bark and as I was watching them I saw Ctenophora pectinicornis and Black-headed Cardinal Beetle. There was a Xylota hoverfly hanging around too and the only thing I saw all day that was calm enough to get a photo was this Rhinoceros Beetle running down a Beech stump. I saw a female on the wing and then two males, both legging it straight down a rotten Beech stump, perhaps they had just emerged. Funnily, I keep seeing all these rare deadwood beetles but this is the first time I have seen Rhinoceros Beetle. I noticed that there was a lot more beetle activity in the late afternoon than there had been throughout the whole day.

On the way back to the car I found a flowering shrub covered in inverts, including Wasp Beetle, Speckled Longhorn, green Ischnomera sp. and a load of stuff I have not keyed out yet. I think there are three new saproxylic beetles for Ebernoe I found today. Better get to the microscope...

2 Response to "Charging Rhino"

Victoria Hume Says:

What a great picture of a great beetle! I'll have to look out for these next time I see a nice old beech tree. Thanks for showing me the female rhinocerous on saturday. They're my new favourite beetle.

Any idea why their activity was greater in the afternoon?

Graeme Lyons Says:

I'm not sure, I have seen the same behaviour at Ebernoe too though, several males crawling around a Beech stump and females in flight in the afternoon sun. I have noticed with beetles that late afternoon can be really productive.

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