08.II.2008. Vértes mountains

My first trip of this year led to the Vértes Mountains, with three friends of mine: Kálmán Székely, Sándor Ilniczky and Tamás Németh. We approached the forest from the town Oroszlány which is situated on the north side of the mountains. Our destination was the beech forest around the camphouses of Mindszentpuszta. The temperature was rising up to 8°C during the day, with slight wind.

On a clearing, in the rotting part of a dried out and fallen wild pear, we found the small lucanid beetle, Aesalus scarabaeoides (Panzer, 1794).

The cavity and the rotting part of a collapsed old oak hide interesting beetles.

If you find this kind of red rot, some click beetles can be revealed almost certainly,

for instance, Ampedus praeustus (Fabricius, 1792),

or the unicoloured Ampedus nigerrimus (Lacordaire, 1835).

The family of false darkling beetles were represented by Hypulus quercinus (Quensel, 1790).

Here and there we met planted pine stands (Pinus nigra and Pinus sylvestris).

On the fallen, dry trunks, exit holes of our largest jewel beetle, Chalcophora mariana [Linnaeus, 1758] can be seen.

Its larva grows up to six centimetres.

An artificial pond provides breeding place for the amphibians of the forest.

(The upper panel reads: “Strictly protected area, it is forbidden to disturb nature!” The paper below says: “On the 26th of January it is prohibited to trespass because of hunting!”)

At last we arrived at a beech forest to admire the huge, gloomy trees.

Several, already dead trees were still standing.

The cut-out or fallen trunks are rotting, inside them several arthropods overwinter or

This curiously shaped Thymalus limbatus (Fabricius, 1787) belongs to the family of the bark-gnawing beetles (Trogossitidae).

The evergreen spurge laurel (Daphne laureola L.) is our protected and rare plant.

The buds, hiding at the base of the leaves are waiting for the flowering in April.

On an old oak log, exit holes sign the presence of Eurythyrea quercus (Herbst, 1780).

From the past: piled billets of wood for making charcoal.

Translated by O. Merkl & T. Németh