Vine Weevil? I Think NOT!

Amid shrieks and general pandemonium today, it was a case of … “We’ve got Vine Weevil all over the garden; you’ll have to treat all the bonsai!”

It is helpful at times to have some knowledge to differentiate between a Vine Weevil and something else. Upon closer inspection I could immediately see legs which confirmed straight away it was not going to be Vine Weevil.

This was an area of garden that we had wanted to develop for a while now, but after removing a diseased Silver Birch five years ago; it left a trunk sticking up out of the ground some 90cm across. I could have used a product to rot it away to nothing but I have for the last few years tried to go almost 100% organic.

Now as it turned out, these little beauties were  Stag Beetle grubs; to be absolutely precise the lesser stag beetle, Dorcus parallelipepidus. The Stag Beetle is now actually considered to be an endangered species where as the ‘lesser’ is not.

Here then is the first of a series of pictures from today! Oh, and don’t worry they were all put back and are now safe and sound doing what they do best, nibbling away at the dead wood. Birches are a great target because the timber is very light when dried out.

Just before I show you the pictures I felt it was prudent to just include a small bit of information on the Stag Beetle that everyone can help with.

Stag beetles need dead and decaying wood to lay their eggs and to feed on, so it would be great if you could leave an area of your garden undisturbed with fallen trees, tree stumps or logs that are in contact with the soil (so that the wood remains moist and can decay).

This kind of habitat is great for other wildlife as well, but if you are lucky enough, you may help these magnificent stag beetles move in too. Try to do your bit for endangered species … please.

Here then are the grubs:

They are not greatly pleased at being picked up and tend to defecate on your hand; they think it will put you off:-)

Sorry it was a bit blurred try this one.

You can clearly see the legs!

At the same time we found several adults.

So there we are; not Vine Weevils at all (breathe a sigh of relief).