The Homoderus gladiator

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My pet beetle, John The 3rd (above), a Homoderus gladiator stag beetle, recently went to Beetle Heaven. He was a beautiful and fascinating pet beetle to watch, he loved his food and I do miss him.

The Homoderus gladiator are prone to losing their limbs, the poor things, which obviously impacts their mobility – or lack of. With missing leg parts they are forever falling over and like the tortoise (or turtle) once on their backs it can mean death if they’re not able to turn over, or you (pet beetle owner) do it for them…I’m often using cotton buds and pencils to set them back on their feet!

The Homoderus gladiator, the males have fearsome looking antlers!

Familia: Lucanidae
Subfamilia: Lucaninae
Tribus: Homoderini
Genus: Homoderus
Species: Homoderus gladiator
Subspecies: H. g. gladiator – H. g. johnstoni

Homoderus gladiator Jakowlew, 1895

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Happy 2012!

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I’ve yet to own a good quality camcorder or a camera that does macro, anyway, I put together a few of my MANY pet beetle photographs together in a short video. I hope you enjoy it.

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A Bedroom For A Millipede

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The 2nd largest female millipede is loving this house, she’s been sleeping regularly in the top bedroom.

I could be wrong, but it looks like they have been eating or licking the wood! – well, if it’s safe for pet rodents as what it is marketed for, I should think it’s safe for giant millipedes too.

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Want to share a photo of your Christmas Tree? Then click *HERE*

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Millipede LogCabin

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The millipedes have their Christmas present early this year ~ a logcabin of their own, including two bedrooms.  The smaller one upstairs is great for the husband when he needs to rest after spending time with his two wives 😉

Costing around £5 you can find this on Amazon, and there are many different houses to choose from.  I thought this was nice for the millys to sleep in and they do like wood, as do many insects (although you must be careful which woods you introduce as some woods can be toxic depending on which species).

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Want to share a photo of your Christmas Tree?  Then click *HERE*

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BEETLE (a short story)

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BEETLE (a short story) by Faith McCord is currently *FREE* to download for your kindle or other ebook.

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To go to the page where you can download this story click *HERE*

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Rare 16-spotted ladybirds make comeback after 60 years

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An insect declared extinct in the UK six decades ago has been found alive and well.

Experts confirmed yesterday that a breeding colony of 13-spot ladybirds was found in Devon by Richard Comont, a PhD student at Oxford University.

‘As soon as I saw the larva, I was fairly sure it was a 13-spot,’ he said. ‘It’s something I’ve dreamt of finding. It’s such a significant discovery, I took it back to rear it to adulthood to make sure.’

It makes you wonder what else is out there waiting to be rediscovered.

The 13-spot, similar to the more common seven-spotted variety, was found in the Axe Estuary Wetlands during a wildlife survey.
James Chubb, education ranger for East Devon district council, said: ‘We knew that we would find loads of really interesting and unusual creatures, but never for a second did we think we’d make a discovery of this magnitude.”A spokesman for the conservation trust Buglife said: ‘How exciting to rediscover this ladybird breeding in Devon after being declared extinct in the 1950s.’It makes you wonder what else is out there waiting to be rediscovered. Many of Britain’s invertebrate populations are declining at a drastic rate – so it is great to have some good news.”

The 13-spot ladybird has a similar pattern to the familiar seven-spot ladybird, with between seven and 15 black spots on a background of orange-red.

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Ladybirds facts

  • The name ladybird has been commonly used for centuries and was a reference to the Virgin Mary, because in paintings she was often wearing a red cloak.
  • According to an old wives tale – they can be used to predict the weather. If one falls off your hand, it will rain. If it flies away, conditions will be fine.
  • Many people don’t realise that we have so many different ladybirds living in Britain: 46 species. Not all of them are brightly coloured and spotty.
  • Ladybirds refuse to fly if it’s below 12.7C (55F).
  • Ladybirds beat their wings 84 times a second when flying

Thank you 🙂

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To see this (original) article click *HERE*

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How to help wild Stag beetles

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The county, Upton-upon-Severn in Worcestershire is another popular area for the rare British stag beetle. Worcestershire Wildlife Trust had in June of this year asked locals to report any Stag beetle findings (species name, place name, location with postcode, date and quantity).

Here is how you can encourage stags and other insects to your garden ~~~

LOG PILES *the following from the BBC.

Encourage beetles to flourish in your gardens by making log piles or burying timber.

Steve Bloomfield, conservation officer for Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, said: “It’s really important, especially in the Upton area, that people create log piles or bury timber in their gardens, to help stag beetles and other insects to survive in our county.

“This can be done in a quiet, shaded, corner of the garden and the best type of wood to use is from broadleaved trees, oak or beech are great – these support the richest insect communities.”

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust has had a report of holes appearing in a lawn in Ripple.- they were 4cm (1.5 inches) in diameter and 15cm (6 inches) deep, and are possibly caused by stag beetles emerging from underground.

The majority of adult beetles only live for a few weeks in the summer in order to mate.

>>> The Great Stag Hunt! <<<

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Top 10 boroughs for stag beetles

  • 1. Southwark
  • 2. Lewisham
  • 3. Richmond
  • 4. Merton
  • 5. Bromley
  • 6. Kingston
  • 7. Bexley
  • 8. Sutton
  • 9. Greenwich
  • 10. Croydon

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To see this article and see other related links at the BBC site, click *HERE*

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Little Londoners: Stag Beetles prefer city life!

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Article by the BBC    18 August 2011 ~ ~ ~

A survey has confirmed the capital as a hot spot for stag beetles – and in particular the gardens of south London.

Londoners were asked to report sightings of the threatened bugs for an RSPB survey in June, with almost 74,000 people taking part.

One in five of the gardens surveyed harbour the species.

The bug’s 10 favourite boroughs are all south of the Thames, with the highest number of sightings in Southwark, followed by Lewisham and Richmond.

The stag is the UK’s largest ground beetle, ranging in length from 5cm to 8cm.

They feast on dead wood underground, but the RSPB and other conservation groups are encouraging Londoners to create an urban substitute with buckets of logs buried in soil.

The stag beetle range is now largely confined to the capital and the south east of England, which has prompted its designation as one of Greater London’s priority species.

The survey is part of the RSPB’s summer wildlife survey, which also asked Londoners to report other garden visitors such as birds, frogs and foxes.

The survey shows very little change over the past three years in the populations or species of the top 10 birds visiting the capital’s gardens.

The most commonly recorded is the starling, followed by declining house sparrows, with wood pigeons in third place.

However, concern remains for migratory swifts, which were recorded in fewer gardens than in previous years.

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Top 10 boroughs for stag beetles

  • 1. Southwark
  • 2. Lewisham
  • 3. Richmond
  • 4. Merton
  • 5. Bromley
  • 6. Kingston
  • 7. Bexley
  • 8. Sutton
  • 9. Greenwich
  • 10. Croydon

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To see this article and see other related links at the BBC site, click *HERE*

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