The Beetle family the Tree Sap and the Uninvited Guest

13A2D8C2-6A56-49FE-B62B-C4C7595C6059.jpeg

Somehow I have an eye for catching nature in action. It’s as if I’m in the right place at the right time. Today I took notice of a family of beetles as well as other insects feeding on sap from an huge old tree. The older the tree the sweeter the sap?

Sap is a fluid transported in xylem cells (vessel elements or tracheids) or phloem sieve tube elements of a plant. These cells transport water and nutrients throughout the plant. ... Insect honeydew is called sap, particularly when it falls from trees, but is only the remains of eaten sap and other plant parts.
Source

BCF74DE9-0F27-438E-8116-2E22CD9D0835.jpeg

This stag beetle was feasting away on the sap coming from the bark of this tree along with some flies. And on second look, I realized a female stag beetle was under the male. See the picture after the next. Do you see it?

Looking at another part of the bark I realized there were some baby stag beetles feeding on sap as well. I assume it is a family of stag beetles that probably have this tree as their home.

I was tempted to take them home as my twins love to keep them as pets in the summer. But these guys looked like they were in the perfect habitat to thrive.

613CE6F9-FCA7-4555-8390-DF00B1305F9E.jpeg

As I was saying before, you can see a female stag beetle under the male a bit in this pic ( the females dont have the big horns). But were they really mating? I think so as the basic needs of a being are food and shelter ( they have that) and what better place to get it on to reproduce 😂.

There was a time I couldn’t and wouldn’t touch these things but I have come to appreciate them as I have learnt to understand them more... especially how to hold them.... also a 9 year old girl I know can take these things up and have them crawl on her hand without flinching so that was good motivation. 😆

C5EEA49F-155B-4EC9-8ECE-E8461FDD77E6.jpeg

This shot right below was a bad one but it was bad for a reason. I heard a buzzing sound. A sound I know well as I am out in nature.

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

The buzzing sound was what I thought it was. A hornet 🐝, interestingly they also feed on the sap. I stayed still as I knew it would head straight for the food. It would have been interesting to see how the stag beetles would react to the hornet and visa versa but I wasn’t gonna stick around to find out as it was about to rain and I didn’t want to stick around this killer bee too long. ( actually a wasp I think).

BAA1C2C5-19F0-4A0B-BEF1-66A3CE069187.jpeg

I knew the hornet would appear at some point as I was at this spot the day before and saw it feeding on the sap while chasing away two butterflies. Here are the pictures I took that day.

It is interesting how all these insects find delight in munching on the sap. It must have some very good properties for so many insects to want to get a sip.

BB7E0620-178E-4C73-B6A1-6FF142941407.jpeg

FBDC4789-0420-4E07-9A36-42DCF8C69E4F.jpeg

I leave you with the money shot

I hope my nature loving Hivians found this post interesting. Grateful for this community so I can share my nature loving side. Blessings!

AC7C7081-3015-4430-A485-3FDCBAC9D521.jpeg

7 Comments