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Stag beetles and frogs

It might seem incredible to you but frogs love to have a go at stag beetles. I have seen several attempts, but I haven't managed to take any good pictures yet. However other people have beaten me to it and here they are.

First, a couple of photos of frogs on dry land where frogs do quite a bit of foraging mainly during the night.

Frog grabbing a male stag beetle.

Photo courtesy of Ian Rose, June 16 1996, Mistley, Essex, CO11 1HN.

A dramatic frog and beetle confrontation.

Frog and male stag beetle

Photo courtesy of PTES Great Stag Hunt, 2008 gallery.

This time it looks as if a male stag beetle is having a go at a frog...

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And a couple of photos in ponds where quite often stag beetles end up.

Frog and male stag beetle, plus pond snail.

Photo courtesy of PTES Great Stag Hunt, 2007 gallery.

What happened next I've no idea...

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Frog and male stag beetle

Photo courtesy of Charles Bather, 24 June 2008, Colchester, Essex.

Charles wrote:
“This lunch time I glanced in the pond and saw a frog trying to catch some sort of insect. On closer inspection it turned out to be a Male Stag Beetle. Far too big for this frog. I got a chance to snatch this photo before the frog took fright and dived away. Needless to say I rescued the beetle and put him in a safe place. ”

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It is well known that stag beetles seem to be attracted by water with dire results sometimes.
Amazingly, there is somebody who has seen a swimming stag beetle! Believe me, back in 1960, J. Anne Semmence, aged 11, wrote:
Another time when I was by the river I saw a Stag Beetle going down to the water and it began to swim. Then at home I found a Stag Beetle on the outside water tank. The tank has a wooden cover and the beetle crawled to the edge and fell into the water. I stood to watch it swim because it looked very clever. I got it out of the water and let it dry in the sun. Since then I have not seen another Stag beetle.
The French people call it “ le cerf volant
, “the flying stag”.”
Reference: Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc, 11 : 360

A wonderful thing to have watched, and lucky beetle too! If you happen to see it as well, then email me as I would love to hear about it, please.

Remember that if you ever find drowned stag beetles, please pick them up and put them in a safe dry place. Quite often, they recover rather well, fortunately.

Further reading:
The Flying Stag Beetle, by Maria Fremlin, The AES Bug Club Magazine, December 2007. [PDF]

Last modified: Tue Jan 6 11:04:58 GMT 2015

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