The back garden has been a bit neglected over the past couple of weeks. First the weather was so dry that I spent my time desperately watering the garden to stop the plants from dying and then the rain came and the weeds multiplied and grew. Today I managed to get out and begin finding the plants bordering the pond. Between the plants and the water are a number of rotting logs and whilst weeding nearby part of one collapsed, exposing several beetle larvae.
These are the larvae of the lesser stag beetle. Unlike the larvae of the greater stag beetle that live in logs buried underground, lesser stag beetle larvae are usually found in logs above ground, often in great numbers. Although there are a few other species whose larvae could be confused with those of the stag beetle, these can be identified using the guide to larvae on the Great Stag Hunt website.