Stag Beetle

The Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus) is an insect in the Lucanidae family.

The male and female Stag Beetle look different. The male has large mandibles (jaws) that look like the horns of a stag (male deer), whereas the female has much smaller jaws. 

It measures about 3 centimetres (1 inch). 

Stag Beetle (male)

The Stag Beetle is native to western Europe, the Caucasus region, and the Middle East. 

Males often fight each other with their large mandibles. 

It is most active in the evening. Adult beetles feed on nectar from flowers and tree sap. 

The female Stag Beetle lays eggs in rotting wood or in soil. Stag beetle larvae, which are blind and shaped like the letter “C”, feed on rotting wood, tree stumps, old trees, shrubs, rotting fence posts, compost heaps, and leaf litter. The larvae go through several stages, taking 4-6 years to become pupae. The pupae live in soil for about three months, then emerge from the soil as adult beetles, and fly off to find a mate. 

Stag Beetle (female)

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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