Locally I am very grateful to an awful lot of people mainly to all the neighbouring children and keen gardeners who over the years have given me so much feedback.
Also to Jerry Bowdrey (Museum Resource Center, 14 Ryegate Road, Colchester CO1 1YG, England, telephone 01206 - 282936) for all his expert help right from the beginning and in particular when I was designing the life cycle during my time as a volunteer for the Colchester Countryside Service. And, of course, to Simon Newell who in the first place wanted me to make a stag beetle brochure.
I confess that I have never made the brochure but since the demise of the Colchester Countryside Service in 1999 I have been on my own and I have decided to put the life cycle on the web, which thanks to my family's wonderful help was up and running during the year 2000 flying season. Mind you the website has also changed my life.
Globally I am now grateful to an enormous number of people which have helped with the construction of the site, through the Internet. Mainly to the infinitely helpful Marcos Mendéz of the Projecto Ciervo Volante whose generous advice has led to important improvements in the life cycle and the names pages.
Since August 2000 I have also greatly benefited from my collaboration with Deborah Harvey who is doing a PhD on stag beetle ecology. In October 2000 she came to Colchester to do some fascinating field work the result of which was a great improvement of my understanding of the stag beetles' larval ecology. And above all learning how to identify various larvae.
In October 2001 Deborah has kindly written a new page on stag beetle mortality for the site. Also she has let us show some of her brilliant digital photos. Many thanks to Deborah for all these valuable contributions.
Many thanks to Janet Bullard for the taking off photos and for recording the flight sounds with a Sony digital mini-disc recorder. One evening during the 2001 flying season, Janet stood patiently for ages by a male stag beetle waiting for it to fly. Then Alan transferred the sound on to Cool Edit Pro on their computer for editing and converting into sound file. Alan spend over an hour editing out her footsteps. A million thanks to the Bullard family for their second fantastic contribution to this site (the first was the musical story).
My thanks to Mathew Frith and John Hatto for their help with the nest boxes.
Dr. Eva Sprecher-Uebersax is a conservator of the Entomological
Department of the Natural History Museum of Basel, Switzerland and is working
mainly with Chrysomelidae and Lucanidae of Middle Europe and the
Eva has kindly agreed to share with us the results of her studies on larval stridulation and some fantastic photos too. A million thanks for her scientific contributions.
Recently she has also co-authored a very interesting book about stag beetles, Lucanus cervus depictus, published in October 2004.
Richard Smith while working as a ranger at Highwoods Park has been directly involved with the building of quite a number of pyramids in the Colchester area. Many thanks to Richard for sharing, so generously, his expertise with the site and also for liaising with the Park.
Why the North American Stag Beetles? First and foremost because of public demand as there didn't seem to be much about these beetles in the Internet, back in 2001. So by working from books, generously guided by the entomologist Charles Staines, I started developing the site that way. Therefore hand-in-hand with the visitors fantastic feedback I got to have an insight on the lifestyle of these beetles, all by proxy.
In September 2004, Dr. Frank Guarnieri sent me photos of new species, and also helped with the identification of Lucanus placidus. So the site kept on growing. Soon after that came some fantastic flying stag beetle photos.
However during the 2005 flying season it became clear that the Bugguide was growing at a much faster pace, I did notice that I wasn't getting so many emails... Anyway soon I found myself collaborating with Patrick coin and Jim McClarin and in October 2005 I became a user myself during our stay in Toronto. Now I kind of piggybacked my North American Stag Beetles on to it. We shall see how this is going to work out.
At long last in May 2005, while I had a horrid cold, I hatched out the Gardener's larva guide - I'm extremely grateful to Deborah Harvey, Jan Henderickx, Frank Köhler, and Heinz Rothacher not only for their invaluable photographic contributions but above all for sharing their knowledge with me. The photo of the feeding cockchafer is being sorted out right now.
In June 21, 2005, I received a memorable email from Pat Robinson. In it he told me about the extraordinary wood chip public footpath that was positively crawling with stag beetle larvae, over 750! Pat also said: Your website is very useful and has been used to help increase public awareness of the Stag beetles in London , which was very flattering, but it was the former that sent me to the phone to try to understand what had happened in that path.
Several months later, another start email arrived. Paul Hendriks, from the Netherlands, was telling me about another interesting find, this time stag beetle larvae were found in school playgrounds lined with wood chips. Wood chips again!
Thanks to Pat Robinson and Paul Hendriks collaboration, and after many emails, I've now included a new page, Stag beetle larvae found in woodchip beds, which marks the beginning of a huge refreshment in the artificial nesting sites section of the website. I'm also grateful for Pat Robinson's and Bert van Geel's photos. Paul Hendriks has remained in touch and there are now several of his very valuable contributions in the site.
In July 2007 Carim Nahaboo got in touch with me offering to redraw the life cycle wheel, a request that I had on that page. This started a series of outstanding contributions to the site from him. Carim is a very promising young illustrator, and I am extremely grateful for his collaborations, which so far have been in chronological order: life cycle drawings, a new stag beetle life cycle wheel, and a go at pyrogravure. Contact: carimnahaboo"AT"yahoo.co.uk
In June 2008 I met Sylvie Barbalat during the 5th Conference on Saproxylic Beetles, and after wards she sent the lucanes nichoir in Neuchâtel and the Kiev sculpture photos. Many thanks for sharing the photos, in particular the latter, such an interesting example of stag beetles in our culture. It was fun learning about this sculpture, and I am grateful to Sergiy Libenson, Valentyna Meshkova, and Dmitry V. Vovk I for their help.
To Dr. Masahiko Tanahashi many, many thanks for sharing his knowledge with the website. It has made a tremendous difference to our view of these fascinating stag beetles. As a result so many pieces have been added to the puzzle of their life cycle!
Many heartfelt thanks to all who keep sending me the most interesting emails, in particular the ones about stag beetle larvae!
Stag beetles- all they need is love and wood
Last modified: Wed Sep 12 12:01:40 2012
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