Stag beetles is a group of 1,2000 species. However, the most well known among them is Lucanus cervus. The iconic, large mandibles are what gives them the name stag beetles since they resemble deer antlers. The males use their mandibles for combat but they are too weak to be harmful to humans.
L. cervus spends most of its life in the larval stage. It will spend 4 to 6 years as a larva before pupating for just a few months. This usually takes place in rotting wood and leaf litter. They live as adults for a few short weeks, eating sap and nectar.
Because the take so long to develop and stay put in rotting wood, over clearing of forests has lead to this species being in decline. It’s listed as near-threatened by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
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