Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Giant Stag Beetle

The Giant Stag Beetle (Lucanus elaphus) is a species you may only see on rare occasion, or not at all. It is a shy insect that prefers to roam around at night. 

The males appear fierce and dangerous with huge mandibles that are often as long as their body, but these weapons are only used in combat with other males to win the favor of a female. This species is rather large, up to 5 cm in length but the beetles aren't aggressive towards humans. They may rear up and display their pinchers if disturbed, but it is just a bluff. They have no venom or poison sting and they don’t bite. Actually they are often quite docile to handle. Females are similar in appearance but their mandibles are much shorter.

These beetles are good climbers and often prefer it over flying. They live around dead trees and logs and the larvae when hatched, feed upon the decaying wood.

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