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  • Stag Beetle - (Lucanus capreolus)

    Stag Beetle - (Lucanus capreolus)

    Looks can be deceiving. The Stag Beetle drinks sap and uses those intimidating mandibles for courting.

    Picture of Stag Beetle
    Staff Writer (2/6/2014): Common east of the Mississippi, Stag Beetles are noted for their large size and ferocious appearance, complete with a durable exoskeleton and imposing, pincer-like mandibles. The mandibles on the female are much shorter than that of the male, whose mandibles can be about the size of their heads. Among males, younger males have shorter mandibles than older ones. This species is different from other Stag Beetles thanks in part to the orange or yellow coloring at the base of each leg. Its exoskeleton appears very smooth and glossy with a rich dark red or brown hue to it.

    They are primarily night dwellers and - like most nocturnal insects - are generally attracted to light sources at night. Despite having large, "menacing" mandibles, the Stag Beetle serves itself a steady diet of sap. The mandibles on the male are generally reserved for male-to-male combat when it comes time to woo a female Stag Beetle. The winning male gets the opportunity to mate.

    Females lay fertilized eggs on dead trees or stumps. The grubs hatch and mature in the rotting wood.

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    Details of the:
    Stag Beetle

    Category: Beetle
    Common name: Stag Beetle
    Scientific Name: Lucanus capreolus
    Other Names: Common Stag Beetle

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

    Size (Adult, Length): 20mm to 36mm (0.79in to 1.42in)

    Identifying Colors: red; black; orange; yellow

    Additional Descriptors: pincers, claw, pinchers, flying

    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; Nevada; 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;

    * 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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