Stag beetle

Stag beetle

name = Stag beetles

image_width = 220px
image_caption = Male "Lucanus cervus"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Arthropoda
classis = Insecta
ordo = Coleoptera
subordo = Polyphaga
infraordo = Scarabaeiformia
superfamilia = Scarabaeoidea
familia = Lucanidae
familia_authority = Latreille, 1804
subdivision_ranks = Subfamilies
subdivision =

Stag beetles are a group of about 1,200 species of beetle in the family Lucanidae, presently classified in four subfamiliesSmith, A.B.T. (2006) A review of the family-group names for the superfamily Scarabaeoidea (Coleoptera) with corrections to nomenclature and a current classification. The Coleopterists Bulletin 60:144–204.] Some species grow to 8 cm (3¼ in), but most are about 5 cm (2 in).

The English name is derived from the large and distinctive mandibles found on the males of most species, which resemble the antlers of stags.

A well-known species in much of Europe is "Lucanus cervus", referred to in Britain as "the" stag beetle (it is the largest British terrestrial insect). Pliny the Elder noted that Nigidius called the stag beetle "lucanus" after the Italian region of Lucania where they were used as amulets. The scientific name of "Lucanus cervus" is this word, plus "cervus", deer.

Male stag beetles use their jaws to wrestle each other for favoured mating sites, but despite their often fearsome appearance they are not normally aggressive to humans. Stag beetles are sometimes used in the Chinese sport of insect fightingFact|date=October 2007.

Female stag beetles are usually smaller than the males, with smaller mandibles.

The larvae feed for several years on rotting wood, growing into grubs which in larger species may be as big as a human finger.


See Taxonomy of Lucanidae

External links

* [ Stag beetle helpline] Research site containing lots of information on the stag beetle as well as a monitoring form and information on current conservation schemes.
*cite web |url= |author=M.J. Paulsen |title=Annotated Checklist of the New World Lucanidae Checklist of New World stag beetles with links to pages with additional information and images.
* [ Taiwanese picture gallery]
*cite web |url= |author=Toma Libich | gallery of Lucanidae
*cite web |url= |title=Gallery of Lucanidae
*cite web |url= |author=J M Maes |title=Biodiversity: section on Lucanidae with a world catalogue and a world bibliography
* [ Asahinet] Stag beetles on postage stamps and species illustrations.
* [ Images (portal)]
* [ TOL]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stag beetle — Stag Stag (st[a^]g), n. [Icel. steggr the male of several animals; or a doubtful AS. stagga. Cf. {Steg}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) The adult male of the red deer ({Cervus elaphus}), a large European species closely related to the American elk, or wapiti …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stag beetle — ► NOUN ▪ a large dark beetle, the male of which has large branched jaws resembling antlers …   English terms dictionary

  • stag beetle — n. any of a family (Lucanidae) of large beetles: the male has long, branched, antlerlike mandibles …   English World dictionary

  • stag beetle — any of numerous lamellicorn beetles of the family Lucanidae, some of the males of which have mandibles resembling the antlers of a stag. [1675 85] * * * ▪ insect also called  Pinching Bug,         any of some 900 species of beetles (insect order… …   Universalium

  • stag beetle — noun a kind of lamellicorn beetle; the male has branched mandibles resembling antlers • Hypernyms: ↑lamellicorn beetle • Member Holonyms: ↑Lucanidae, ↑family Lucanidae * * * ˈstag beetle 7 [stag beetle] …   Useful english dictionary

  • stag beetle — stag′ bee tle n. ent any of numerous beetles of the family Lucanidae, some of the males of which have mandibles resembling the antlers of a stag • Etymology: 1675–85 …   From formal English to slang

  • stag beetle — noun Any of numerous large beetles of the family Lucanidae; the males have elaborate mandibles resembling the antlers of a stag; especially the species Lucanus cervus, which is the largest beetle in the UK …   Wiktionary

  • stag-beetle — /ˈstæg bitl/ (say stag beetl) noun any of the lamellicorn beetles constituting the family Lucanidae. The males have mandibles resembling a stag s antlers …  

  • stag beetle — noun Date: 1681 any of a family (Lucanidae) of mostly large beetles having males with long and often branched mandibles suggesting the antlers of a stag …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • stag-beetle — noun A large black beetle with a pair of strong mandibles …   Wiktionary

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