Species of the month:
June - Stag Beetle

Let us know on our form below if you've seen a stag beetle

Stag beetles © Nigel Brooks


Common Name: Stag beetle

Latin Name: Lucanus cervus

Identification: The UK’s largest land beetle with males growing up to 75mm long! They have a black head and thorax and brown wing cases. The male has large mandibles which are shaped like antlers whilst the female is smaller in size and has much smaller mandibles.

Behaviour: Stag beetles spend the majority of their life (from 3-7 years!!) as larvae underground in rotting wood. They then pupate and metamorphose in adults which then emerge in May/June. During this time they are on a mission to mate but will only survive one season as they cannot survive the winter.

Eats: Larvae eat rotting wood. Adults do not eat but live on the stored fat from when they were a larvae. They will drink sap from trees and fallen soft fruit.

Where can they be found? Larvae can be found in amongst rotting wood that is underground. Adult males can be seen flying around at dusk whereas females tend to stay on the ground (only going as far as 20m or so!).

Stag beetles are under threat and have become extinct in some European countries. They are found in the south of England mainly. 

Wildife Gardening Tips:

Here are some tips on how to help stag beetles in your garden:

  • Make a stag beetle stumpery! Half bury logs in your garden to create a home and diner for stag beetles!
  • Cover tops of water butts so stag beetles don’t drown!
  • Try to avoid putting down plastic sheeting as emerging stag beetles may get stuck underneath.
  • Avoid clearing away rotting wood- instead make a log pile or stumpery with it! And leave old tree stumps in the ground.
  • Leave long grass around log piles/stumperys as lawnmowers may kill any emerging stag beetles.
  • Grow soft fruit and leave any fallen fruit for stag beetles!

Let us know if you've seen a stag beetle below...

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