stag beetle

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stag beetle

any lamellicorn beetle of the family Lucanidae, the males of which have large branched mandibles

Stag Beetle

 

(Lucanus cervus), an insect of the family Lucanidae; one of the largest beetles of the fauna of the USSR. The male is up to 7 cm long (without the upper jaws); the head is very large, with protruding ridges and enormous mandibles that resemble the horns of a deer (hence the name). The mandibles are used in combat against other males during the mating season. The body is black, and the elytra are cinnamon brown to chestnut brown.

The stag beetle is distributed in broad-leaved forests; in the USSR it is found in the east as far as the southwestern Urals. The beetle feeds on sap that flows out of trees (mainly from oak); the larva lives in rotting wood. Development of the larva takes four to six years. The stag beetle is not a pest and is subject to conservation.