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Straznice Region

THE OLD OAK AND THE STAG BEETLE

In the Mucharek wood between the town of Straznice and the Morava River, a large old oak can be found. Compared to the antient 900-years-old lime tree in the Bzenec castle park (some 7km to the north), the oak tree is still a youngster. Yet, it is still much older and bigger than the rest of the trees in the surrounding wood. It is 23 meters (some 75ft) tall and the girth of its trunk is 514cm (17ft). Its age has been estimated at 300 years.

Old oaks are sought by many different species of beetles the larvae of which feed on wood. The stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) also belongs to this group. It is still rather common in the Straznice Morava region. This beetle is one of the largest ones you can find in the Czech Republic, with the males reaching up to 7cm (3in). The females are smaller. They lay eggs into the rotting wood of old oak trees, where the larvae spend 3–6 years – and before they develop into a pupa, they can grow up to 12cm (4.5in). The adult beetles spend most of their lives high in the tree tops, as they feed on the sap from young twigs of leafy trees. If we find the stag beetle on the ground, it is probably already dying. The biggest threat for this attractive endangered beetle is not keen collectors, as it may seem, but the loss of suitable habitat – by cutting down an old oak, we do not only lose the tree, but all the wildlife that goes with it, including the stag beetle.

stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) – male

stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) – female

GPS position

N 48° 54.810', E 17° 17.210'
[GPX]

[MAPY.CZ]

Contact

Vzdělávací a informační středisko Bílé Karpaty, o.p.s.
Marie Petrů
Tel.:518 322 545
e-mail:visbk@bilekarpaty.cz
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