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Helpline for Larvae and other queries

If you have a problem with larvae that have just been disturbed, first, bear in mind that the larvae don't relocate well, the reason being that they are rather fragile, see below.

Larval incident. Photo by Maria Fremlin, April 2010
Larvae soon after being relocated: dark larvae are dead. Photo by Maria Fremlin, April 2010.
Summary: Lucanus cervus: 2 alive, 8 dead; Dorcus parallelipipedus: 1 alive; Cetonia aurata: 2 alive, 1 dead.

Also, generally, they don't tolerate a change of diet. The fact is that in order to digest any goodness out of rotten wood the larvae have developed a very complex digestive system, their guts are a fermenting vat full of fussy micro-organisms, hence they don't take well to being moved. For more visit How stag beetle larvae feed.

Therefore I hope that some of the following suggestions will help you solve your problem as soon as possible.

  • Status:
    Stag beetles (Lucanus cervus) are listed under Annex II of the EC Habitats Directive and Appendix III of the Bern Convention. Protected in the UK under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended.
    For their status in other countries visit: Current status of the stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) in Europe.

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