Stag bettle larvaes reintroduction to Carne – Rontana

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On the 4th of May 2022, in the Parco Regionale della Vena del Gesso Romagnola, the inoculation of stag beetle (Lucanus cervus cervus) larvae was carried out inside four log pyramids in the area of the Life Carnè -Rontana Project, as foreseen by action C1.5 of Life4oakforests.
The aim of the project is to increase the presence of the beetle in the Park through its reintroduction.
The inoculation of the larvae was carried out by Raffaele Gattelli, zoologist and contact person of the Aquae Mundi NGO, and Luigi Melloni, entomologist, under the supervision of Serena Petroncini, technical coordinator of LIFE4oakForests project for Italy.
Log pyramids are partially buried pyramid-shaped wooden structures made of dead wood, mainly of broadleaf trees. They are microhabitats suitable for saproxylic insects (such as the stag beetle) that live part of their life cycle inside dead wood.
The larvae, hatched from pairs of Lucanus cervus collected in the Parco Regionale della Vena del Gesso Romagnola, were reared in an enclosure and fed with a pellet of ecological beech wood rot, sphagnum peat, organic fertiliser and rotting walnut, oak and poplar logs. In addition, specific nutrients were administered. The larvae inoculated into the log pyramids were taken from the enclosure approximately two years after hatching.
The larvae will transform into pupae and in the next few years will reach the adult stage (it is estimated that the transformation will take place in the next three to eight years), thus increasing the stag beetle population in the Park.