Stag beetles in the middle of Berlin.
We know that stag beetles live in villages and cities. Nevertheless, reports like a stag beetle discovery in Uhlandstraße in Berlin are something very special. It’s hard to imagine, a flying stag beetle, successful in a city between cars, people, houses, and it didn’t get lost!
Berlin is a landmark in my personal life when it comes to stag beetles. In 2012, I gave a small lecture on “Stag beetles as cultural successors” at the Natural History Museum. Only a few minutes were given to me, the inconvenient Moselan, to celebrate the stag beetle as Beetle of the Year 2012. The eulogy was given by others. I, who found stag beetles in villages and towns and even claimed that stag beetles can be happy without the oak, was only tolerated. Even in Rhineland-Palatinate at that time, I was disliked at the highest level, for whatever reason. Today, 11 years later, our stag beetle search has taken us to cities like Munich, Frankfurt, Ludwigshafen, Koblenz and now even to the city centre of our capital. Just 5 km away from the place where I campaigned for broad recognition of my research work and thus for the continued existence of the stag beetle search as it is today. Admittedly, I was not the happiest on the journey home at that time.
I had to wait 12 years for a stag beetle report from Berlin. Sometimes it was a long-horned beetle, sometimes a rhinoceros beetle, but there are also considerable populations of stag beetles in the area around Berlin. Nevertheless, I have not yet had the pleasure of reporting a stag beetle directly from the city. I come to Berlin from time to time and admire the city’s love of old trees and was always of the opinion that there must be something. Now the time had come!
But the finder was also surprised and fascinated when she discovered the large beetle on the street at one o’clock in the morning and put it safely away in a nearby tree. Berlin is a lovely city, even when it comes to its flora and fauna, with lovely people. Stag beetles are tough, not just anyone was allowed to find the quaint fellow, no, a biologist in the service of science, who knows what it was good for……