CROATIA, 10-13.VIII. 2007

The last collecting trip of this summer led to the Velebit Mountains in Croatia. More than two weeks earlier, Béla Szelenczey and I decided that, if the weather permits, we spend a long weekend there. He invited his cousin Győző Németh, while I asked András Márkus to join us. According to the weather forecast for the weekend rain and fall in temperature were expected. But we were determined, so we set off at 6:30 a.m. from Győr. It was raining several times on the way, and when we arrived to Senj, overcast, rainy weather welcomed us. By the evening the rain has stopped, and for the next days we had nice weather, although it was not so hot. Anyway, we had a quite good trip, we found several rare species, and some of them were caught for the first time in our life.

10th of August, Friday

Travelling in the morning, arrival to Senj in the afternoon and collecting near to the coast.

An old water mill at river Dobra near Ogulin.

Flowering Cyclamen purpurascens Mill. mark the end of summer.

At the town of Senj the sea and the Velebit Mountains showed their somber side.

The day started at castle of Nehaj, with examining black pines (Pinus nigra Arn.)

An adult Chalcophora intermedia Rey, 1890 is already peeking out from its exit hole.

In the cold weather, we found a few live specimens, flattening themselves against the tree trunk.

Because of the rain, some longhorns were hiding under bark.

The usually agile Nothorhina muricata (Dalman, 1817) was easy to catch.

We set up our tents in a nearby camp-site.

On the shore we looked for night-active beetles with the help of torches. On rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum L.) small longhorns, Parmena pubescens (Dalman, 1817) were found.

Niphona picticornis Mulsant, 1839 is also active at night.

11th of August, Saturday

Collecting in the Velebit Mountains near to Štirovača on 1100 meters.

We moved to upper regions. The landscape before Krasno.

We found freshly cut trunks of Norway spruce (Picea abies L.) near Štirovača.

In the logs, decaying for years, not only beetle larvae could be found, but reptiles and amphibians were hiding. A young Slow Worm, Anguis fragilis Linnaeus, 1758.

A male Alpine Newt, Mesotriton alpestris (Laurenti, 1768).

This larva of Tragosoma depsarium (Linnaeus, 1767) perhaps has only a year for the adult to emerge.

This male Tragosoma depsarium (Linnaeus, 1767) was found in his pupal cell.

12th of August, Sunday

That day we were collecting on 300 m, and on 1000 m in the afternoon, beyond Oltari.

While beating black pines, different jewel beetles were collected. The first was Chalcophora intermedia Rey, 1890.

Freshly emerged individual of Dicerca moesta (Fabricius, 1794).

The small-sized Buprestis octoguttata Linnaeus, 1758 was active on living...

...and dead trees as well.

On dry pine branches Pogonocherus perroudi Mulsant, 1839 can be found.

Buprestis novemmaculata Linnaeus, 1767 were swarming on dry, cut out pine trunks.

A young Blue-throated Keeled Lizard, Algyroides nigropunctatus (Duméril & Bibron, 1839).

A colourful Dalmatian Wall Lizard, Podarcis melisellensis (Braun, 1877).

Its curiosity made it possible to approach.

Above the village of Oltari, we continued the collecting in a forest of European silver fir (Abies alba Mill.). We opened dry branches and logs, looking for beetles.

András found individuals of Pogonocherus eugeniae Gaglbauer, 1891, which were already resting in their pupal cell.

And Győző found a dead Xylosteus spinolae Frivaldszky, 1838, in a dry trunk of a silver fir (Abies alba Mill.)

13th of August, Monday

In the morning: collecting in Kapela on the way home.

We stopped at Modruš, where logs of European silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) attracted buprestids.

Females of Eurythyrea austriaca (Linnaeus, 1767) came down from the heights of the trees to lay eggs to the trunk of dead trees.

They swarm in the canopy, where males are searching for females.

Males of Eurythyrea austriaca (Linnaeus, 1767) are smaller than females, and have bigger, more protuberant eyes.

At home already: Csorna, Győr-Moson-Sopron county.

Translated by O. Merkl & T. Németh