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About Eric555

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  1. One of my reddish brown stags passed about a week ago. At the time, I mounted it and let dry, and now I want to add it to a display I am creating. Problem is that I need to bend the legs so it will look like it's in a natural pose on a "log" (resin wood). Without relaxing the entire beetle, is there something I can simply apply to the legs that will relax them? I tried ammonia as I read somewhere that it would work, but didn't have any effect. Thanks!
  2. I didn't see this topic in the archives, so thought I'd post the question. Out of the several reddish brown stags I collected recently, the thought has occurred to embed a male and female in resin (the dead samples are currently in the freezer now... for a week... and then I want to mount them). I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has done this and would kindly share your experiences. I'd like to get more information on such topics as: 1) proper drying out of beetles before resin embedding; 2) resin brand recommendations, particularly those that won't yellow over time; 3) embed procedure (layers, vibrations to ward off bubbling, etc). Thanks!
  3. Eric555

    Cicada Killer nest observations

    Pretty neat wasps. Just a couple of years ago, I had a lilac bush emitting sap from some pruning I did. Both the cicada killers and european hornets showed up to feast on the sap. I actually have some video of the small battles between both wasps to get at the sap.
  4. While out searching for stag/ hercules beetles, I came across a seemingly aggressive cicada killer wasp. Upon closer examination, it was guarding several holes nearby, so I decided to stop and observe. It wasn't long before a female arrived with a cicada. The guard would fly up and check, then allow the wasp and prey to enter the nest. Before long, another wasp emerged and I suppose it was off to find a cicada as well. Some things I observed: 1) The male guard, at least during the hour I was observing, never entered or left the nest, but was very aggressive in warding off intruders from other wasps of all sorts to even taking up chasing some of the close passing birds. 2) There was a point where the guard seemed to couple with another wasp and they flew together like this, but not for very long, just under a minute. Perhaps he was fertilizing a female? 3) The guard did not stay the entire time. He would leave for short periods of time and then return. I assume he was going off to eat. I imagine trying to fly around almost continuously in 95+ F temps uses up fuel quickly. He did seem to land more on a post close by once he got used to my presence. 4) I wasn't aware of the size difference between the males and females until I observed it, and then looked it up. Some of the females that approached were quite large and I'd say 1/3 larger than the male guard mostly. 5) I thought there was just a single nest with the three or so holes I observed, but then I started noticing the wasps bringing cicadas into holes up to 15-20 feet away. Not sure if these nests were interconnected to the one I observed or not; the guard would not try and fight off the females bringing their prey into those holes, so I assume maybe they were connected underground. All in all, a fascinating observation, more than making up for the disappointing beetle deficiency. The first time I ever saw these wasps was when I was about 10 years old. In the front yard, a mimosa tree was dying and leaking a lot of sap. Both the cicada killer and european hornet, along with plenty of butterflies, were attracted to the sap, and I talked my dad into catching a cicada killer since it seemed to be the largest wasp in the group. I kept it for a few days in a jar and then let it go.
  5. Anyone else please share, especially from the aforementioned areas. Ideas for better localities welcome. Multiple confirmed sightings. Thanks again!
  6. Well, I've been wondering where to post this question and I have read through past threads here and it looks like some of you either reside or are within driving distance of VA/ MD/ DE/ Washington DC areas. I'm in NJ and it seems like I'm just beyond the range of most of the Hercules/ Rhino beetles, and certainly Giant Stags as well (a considerable distance for the latter especially it seems), if I go by recent sightings as shown on both iNaturalist and whatsthatbug.com. So, for now, I've just been concentrating on the Hercules/ Rhino. After seeing some recent sightings of the Hercules, I proceeded to a couple of public parks near the area lying just E of Baltimore, MD. There were plenty of trees at these parks and a few decaying stumps, but no beetle. I know these are supposedly nocturnal as well, so after killing a few hours, I took a chance and headed back to the best park around dusk (I say "chance" because all of the parks I'm finding, whether public or "state", seem to be open "dawn to dusk" and they won't let you stay past dark). It was getting somewhat dark when I finally left, but still no beetles. Disappointed, I headed home and wasted 160 mi round trip . So, I'm turning here. I'd like male/ female samples of these for my collection. I can't keep taking these trips unless something more concrete comes up, like suggestions of beetle "hotspots" or a different strategy. I read in the archives that some folks have visited shopping centers and the like, or lights near woods and drove around looking for candidate beetles. For the distance I have to travel, this is a big chance, but if there are particular coordinates, "stores", etc that could be PM'd, I'd welcome that too. Unfortunately, I can't set up a UV light bait trap, just too far away for that. I realize that I can always order the dried Hercules, but then I can't say that I was the one who caught them. I know that might sound silly and it may be, but I may be left with no alternative but to order if I can't get some more info on finding these. Before I do any more travelling, I would appreciate any genuine suggestions in advance. The furthest I've gone so far is 80 mi one way. There seems to have been quite a few sightings further S (between DC and Alexandria, VA), but this is up to 150 mi one way from me. Thanks, Eric
  7. Eric555

    which beetle is this?

    Sorry, moderator, posted this in wrong section I think. If you would kindly move to beetle photos, would sure appreciate. Thanks!
  8. I found a couple of these tonight, after dusk, in a decaying stump. Not very large if an eastern hercules, so I just wanted to get confirmation. Thanks.
  9. Thanks, that's what I came up with as well. Apparently, some were found around the Hollywood, MD area. Before I travelled there though, I'd have to get more info like whether or not there have been any current sightings and where. It's beyond 125 mi away from me.
  10. I live in NJ USA. Although the brownish-red stag beetles (Lucanus capreolus) are fairly common here, I have yet to find one of the giant stag beetles. If anyone should have information on where they might be found (either in NJ or within reasonable driving distance), I would appreciate your response. Also, if there's any particular technique for attracting them or finding them, that would be welcome too. For the smaller ones (Lucanus capreolus), I actually had the most luck visiting a couple parks closeby at night, where the beetles gather around the bases of the trees. I suspect the same might be true of elaphus if I could find the right area. Thanks, Eric