Stag beetle

Species profile

Name: stag beetles are a group of around 1,200 species of beetle in the family Lucanidae. Lucanus cervus is the best-known species – often referred to as ‘the’ stage beetle – and is the largest insect in Europe.

Appearance: stag beetles get their name from the large and distinctive jaws found on the males of most species. They use their jaws to wrestle each other for mating spots in a similar way to how deer stags fight over females.

Size: some species grow to over 12 cm, but most are about 5 cm. Lucanus cervus typically reaches around 8 cm long.

Diet: as larvae they feed on rotting wood, when they are fully grown they eat tree sap and decaying fruits.

Did you know: stag beetles are often bought as pets in Japan, a good beetle can fetch up to eighty dollars, and a really rare one can fetch almost a thousand dollars! There is even a theme park devoted to them.

Location: different species of the family are found all across the world. Lucanus cervus can be found in woodlands across Western Europe.

Where to see stag beetles

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see stag beetles in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
One Tree Hill
England
0%
very low
3.3
good
27
reports
Sydenham Hill Wood
England
0%
very low
3.3
good
12
reports

Photo credit: Cimabue under a Creative Commons license from Pixabay

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