In the previous Biodiversity Journal, we spoke about long-horned beetles in the vicinity of Shipka (see here: http://omind.org/2020/10/13/biodiversity-journal-i-long-horned-beetles/). But plenty of beautiful species can be found even in our gardens, especially if we look properly and if we offer the species opportunities for their development. This article can serve as a presentation of natural beauty but also as a humble inspiration for how to attract more species to our gardens.
The first species is common in Shipka. Phytoecia icterica attacks stalks and roots of many plants from the Apiaceae family. They benefit from gardens and fields where the grass isn’t cut frequently. Leave an open sunny part of your garden untouched and this Phytoecia will reward you one day with its presence. Adults can be found on stalks of Apiaceae plants from April to June.
Another species, Callidium violaceum, attacks any dry coniferous wood with bark. We can attract it to our garden by leaving pieces of coniferous wood of any kind in the shed or anywhere else. On the other hand, beams and planks used for wooden constructions should be always left without bark! This species is not picky and can weaken their strength. Adults can be found from May to July on coniferous wood. Their metallic look will amaze you.
Agapanthia viti represents a typical inhabitant of moist ditches around roads or irrigation canals in the vicinity of Shipka. It develops in Dipsacus plants only and its beautiful metallic appearance makes every encounter with this species special. Adults can be found in May and June on stalks of Dipsacus. Interesting: Agapanthia viti was described in 2012 as it belongs to a taxonomically complicated group which was resolved recently by Italian entomologists Rapuzzi and Sama.
Not all species are relatively small. Aegosoma scabricorne belongs among the biggest European bugs with the maximum length overreaching 50mm. It develops in various living or partially dead deciduous old trees; mainly in poplar or willow in Shipka. As it becomes increasingly rare in Europe, it represents a valuable species in Bulgaria. Even you can contribute to its survival by leaving old trees at the edge of your garden or field. Search for significant exit holes in trunks of such trees or for adults which can be found on their host trees from June to August, mainly after sunset.
Last species, Agapanthia kirbyi, develops in very well-known and common Verbascum. As well as Phytoecia icterica, it can benefit from a warm untouched part of your garden/field where you let Verbascum grow. Impressive adults live on stalks of their host plants in May and June.
These were several species of our gardens or fields. Now go outside and try to search for their presence around your house. Or just enjoy the landscape around you. Nature never sleeps. 🙂