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  • Giant Stag Beetle - (Lucanus elaphus)

    Giant Stag Beetle - (Lucanus elaphus)

    The hefty body and extended mandibles make the Giant Stag Beetle the largest Stag in North America.

    Staff Writer (8/15/2017): It's not hard to see what makes the Giant Stag Beetle so fascinating. It is enormous, boasting lengths at 6 cm (over 2 inches). Flattened bumps round out the back of the male's head. Large curved mandibles that look like formidable pincers grace the front of the male's head; females have much shorter, more ordinary mandibles. Males use these to fight with other males over females. Its coloring is a hue somewhere between black and maroon. It is the largest species of its kind in the Stag family.

    Giant Stag Beetles drink leaking tree sap as well as the sticky, sweet honeydew secreted by aphids on plant stems. They can be found on or around oak trees, rotting tree stumps and logs. They are most active at night, where cover of dark can aid in camouflaging them from predators. Like moths, however, they seem to be attracted to lights and may wander closer to homes and buildings where a fortunate person will get to see it in all its glory.

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    Details of the:
    Giant Stag Beetle

    Category: Beetle
    Common name: Giant Stag Beetle
    Scientific Name: Lucanus elaphus
    Other Names: American Stag Beetle

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Coleoptera
          Family: Lucanidae
           Genus: Lucanus
            Species: elaphus

    Size (Adult, Length): 28mm to 60mm (1.10in to 2.36in)

    Identifying Colors: black, red

    Additional Descriptors: huge, large, heavy, bumps, pincers, pinchers, antlers, long, maroon, jaws

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska;New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; British Columbia; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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