‘Most valuable’ rare stag beetle species found in western Turkey
A rare stag beetle species that is on sale in various countries for thousands of dollars has been found for the first time in a western Turkish province, local media reported on July 3.
“We don’t know how it ended up in our province. This is an endangered species and it is under protection. We have given it to the university for further studies,” said Nedret Avcı, the head of Bilecik Municipality’s Veterinary Department.
Avcı said this type of stag beetle, which has six antennas, can find buyers in Japan, where they are sold as pets and for collections “for as much as $150,000.”
“This is the most valuable species. It is also bought and sold in Germany,” he added.
Stag beetles are a group of about 1,200 species of beetles in the family Lucanidae. Its Lucanus cervus subgroup is the largest terrestrial insect in Europe. Some species grow up to over 12 cm (4.7 in), but most are about 5 cm (2.0 in).
“This beetle can be found in the mountains of the southern province of Hatay. This is the first time we have ever found it in [the western province of] Bilecik,” Avcı said.
This is the second discovery in one week that has dazzled nature lovers in Bilecik, after a camel spider - a carnivorous arachnid that can bite humans - was seen for the first time in the province on June 26.
It is not yet clear whether the camel spider now breeds in western Turkey as a result of climate change or whether it was transported on a vehicle travelling from the east.