Flat Bark Beetle
It has been estimated that the Flat Bark Beetle (Cucujus cinnaberinus) is only one of 6,000 different beetle species in Slovenia. It can be found under the bark of old dead standing or fallen trees, especially poplar (Populus), willow (Salix), elm (Ulmus), oak (Quercus), ash (Fraxinus), maple (Acer), wild chestnut (Aesculus), robinia (Robinia) and linden (Tilia). Dead thicker trees are of special importance, given the fact that the abundance of larvae and adult individuals is significantly higher in them. Flat Bark Beetles feed on dead wood biomass as well as prey on the larvae of other beetles. They inhabit predominantly surviving moist lowland forests with large amounts of dead biomass.
Along the Drava River, Flat Bark Beetles are threatened by the increasingly diminishing area of older forest stands with a larger share of dying wood mass, the expulsion of weak, old and dying trees and snags (standing trunks).
The favourable status of Flat Bark Beetles will be reached with improved habitat status of the species, i.e. through establishment of a network free of forest management (a network of unmanaged eco-cells). In consequence, the area of older forest stands with a larger share of dying wood mass, which is a requisite structure of the species' habitat, will be evenly increased in the area.
What can we do to improve the Flat Bark Beetle’s and other endangered beetles’ conservation status?
- Let us preserve the old trees in forest stands.
- Let us not encroach upon forest streams and neither should the riparian woody vegetation be cut.
- During forest management, let us leave the share of dead wood biomass in forests.
Why do we need beetles?
Beetles constitute the order of insects, which carry out a variety of functions in the ecosystem and consequently provide favourable living conditions for numerous other organisms. They are pollinators and take part in the decomposition of biomass, which enables the formation of soil. Several species are predatory and help, even us, to control garden pests.
Sources and literature
- Vrezec, A., Polak, S., Pirnat, A., Kapla A., Denac, D. (2008). Izvajanje spremljanja stanja populacij izbranih ciljnih vrst hroščev v letu 2008 in 2009 in zasnova spremljanja stanja populacij izbranih ciljnih vrst hroščev. Ljubljana: Nacionalni inštitut za biologijo.
- Vrezec, A., Ambrožič, Š., Kapla, A. (2016). Monitoring populacij izbranih ciljnih vrst hroščev v letih 2016 in 2017. Prvo delno poročilo. Ljubljana: Nacionalni inštitut za biologijo..
- Vrezec, A., Ambrožič Ergaver Š., Kapla, A., Kocijančič, S. (2018). Dodatne raziskave kvalifikacijskih vrst Natura 2000 ter izvajanje spremljanja stanja populacij izbranih ciljnih vrst hroščev v letih 2018, 2019 in 2020. Prvo delno poročilo. Ljubljana: Nacionalni inštitut za biologijo.