Posted on 30 August 2013
Dr David Chesmore, a senior lecturer in the Department of Electronics, carried out the recording as part of an interview for the BBC’s six-part Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival series. The recording features in episode three on urban wildlife to be broadcast on BBC One on Sunday 1 September at 5.35pm.
Dr Chesmore explained: “The filming was carried out in a private garden in Colchester, a hot spot for Stag Beetles. Stag Beetle larvae feed inside dead wood and make short snapping sounds, like breaking twigs and we could hear that quite clearly during the recording. They also produce a deliberate buzzing sound which we were hoping to detect but didn’t on the day.”
The methods Dr Chesmore is developing for detecting the larvae are non-invasive – currently the only way to find them is to chop the wood up which destroys the habitat.
The techniques demonstrated in the programme are closely related to Dr Chesmore’s work with the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) on the detection of Asian Longhorn beetles, a destructive non-native insect, found in imported trees and wooden goods.
Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival series is part of the BBC Learning’s Summer Of Wildlife - a special season of programming and showcase events celebrating the UK’s unique and extraordinary wildlife www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2013/34/britains-big-wildlife-revival.html