Interesting discoveries have been made lately in a newly explored forest patch along a logging road between Szentendre and Visegrád, which I visited first a year and a half ago. I’ve been there several times since then. In autumn we collected beetles seeking overwintering sites, while in summer we managed to capture rare species by using wine-baited bottle traps suspended in the canopy. I visited the site three times last winter and early spring to explore the forest even more. Attila Kotán and my girlfriend Petra joined me the first time on a grey December day. This morning the sun was scarcely visible through the thick layer of clouds spreading over the area and the temperature was far below zero. Yet, it was a pleasure to leave the city behind and immerse in nature for a while.

Frozen dead leaves were crunching under our feet while ascending steeply through a beech forest.

Such a large hole in a beech tree is relatively uncommon in the Visegrád Hills. Larvae of Elater ferrugineus Linnaeus, 1758 were found inside. They were reared to adults at room temperature at home.

Reaching the ridge we were just amazed by the view of clouds wrapping the hills.

The sun was trying in vain to prevail against the clouds, with little success. The air didn’t feel much warmer than it was. Therefore, we were rummaging in the hollows of maple trees with stiff fingers.

Remains of Stictoleptura erythroptera (Hagenbach, 1822)

A fair-sized ash log harbouring Ampedus quadrisignatus (Gyllenhal, 1817)
It was recorded only once in the Visegrád Hills.
The log serves as a suitable overwintering shelter for many larvae and adults.

The usually beautiful view from the southern end of the ridge was now hidden under the dense valley fog.

On the way back we came across a herd of wild boars searching for food. Due to the dense fog and the wind that was blowing into our direction we could remain unnoticed. As they came nearer and nearer to us, we could also observe the mouflons accompanying them.

This April, when winter came back for a few days, my family and I made another trip to the area. It was quite difficult to walk up the hill in deep snow.

We finally came to a clearing where a huge oak tree was standing with exit holes of Eurythyrea quercus (Herbst, 1780) on its cut surfaceThis jewel beetle previously considered rare is found in more and more places. Due to the large amount of April snow only a few beetles were collected. However, a new part of the forest was discovered, which seemed

Six days later, when I walked up the hill again with Petra, the snow was gone, making it easier to collect beetles.

In the ash-elm slope forest found in the northern part of the forested area plenty of snags provide habitat and food for many beetle species.

During our last trip I selected some rotten stumps to tear apart next time. Larvae and overwintering adults of Ampedus quadrisignatus (Gyllenhal, 1817) were found.

To contribute to a project aiming at providing the Duna-Ipoly National Park data on protected species in certain areas of the park I recorded a dozen of protected beetle species. Only a few of them were recorded previously within the area. This discovery assures us that instead of visiting the good old places we got used to, it is definitely worthwhile to make field trips to unknown places. There must be many sites less affected by forest management in the Visegrád Hills yet to be explored in the hope of finding undiscovered species.

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