Beetle

Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
907
Location
South Coast UK
I got home today and found this beetle in the conservatory. It was very obliging, keeping very still for me whilst I photographed it.

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As I released it, it flew off towards the trees and a large blackbird swooped out of the tree, catching and eating it in mid flight!

(I know, I need to clean the sensor!)
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
1,005
Location
New Jersey, USA
What an incredible creature with the fan-like antenna !
Well, I'm happy you preserved its short existence in these photos.
Good captures !!
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Messages
3,624
Location
Vienna, AUSTRIA
Nice shots of a male may chafer (Melolontha melolontha) - the females have much smaller antennal "fans". They have been dreaded pests many years ago when you could collect buckets full of them. My grandfather told me that in his time the town goverment payed per kilogram :smile:

In historical times people ate them. In old recipe books you may still find the "May Chafer Soup".

There were so-called may-chafer-years every fourth year, when they were particularly common, because thats is how long their larval period lasts.
They are still calamities in certain areas nowadays, but in many places they have become downright rare (mostly due to pesticides).

In Austria we have two more species of that genus (one exceedingly rare).

Cheers
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
907
Location
South Coast UK
Thanks all for your kind words.

Thanks Harry for the ID. I've not noticed these here before this year but there seems to be quite a few around at the moment, so I hope we are not in for an infestation!
 
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