Surname: Stag beetle
Other names: Horned shredder, fire shredder
Latin name: Lucanus cervus
size: male stag beetle up to 8cm, female stag beetle up to 4cm
Age: maximum two months
Appearance: black and red tank
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
food: plant juices containing sugar
original origin: Central Europe
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
natural enemies: Birds
sexual maturity: immediately as a beetle
mating season: June August
Number of possible offspring: 1 – 15 eggs
Threatened with extinction: Yes
You can find more profiles of animals in the animal lexicon.
Interesting facts about the stag beetle
- The stag beetle or Lucanus cervus is the largest European beetle within the so-called Schröter and has been protected in many countries, including Germany and Austria, for decades.
- The stag beetle got its name because of the striking elongated mouthparts of the males, whose shape is reminiscent of a deer’s antlers. As dangerous as they seem, they can hardly cause injuries. They are also not used to ingest food. They are used only to show off to drive out male rivals.
- The females do not have these pliers and have a body length of maximum four centimeters, almost half the size of the males. Both sexes have in common the reddish-dark brown wing covers, the black head and neck shield as well as the antennae that are fanned out at the upper end.
- Stag beetles are native to Central and Southern Europe and parts of the Middle East and Asia Minor, where they mainly live in oak forests and parks.
- Stag beetles only live for a few weeks from June to August. In these times go them foraging by making loud humming noises through the Fly in the air, which is very slow due to its heavy body.
- The stag beetles use a sugar-containing juice as a food source, which emerges from tree sores. Since there are microorganisms on the surface of these tree sores that ferment the oak sugar into alcohol, stag beetles can get drunk from licking the juice and fall to the ground after eating.
- Attracted by the feeding places, males and females meet here to mate.
- During the mating season, fierce battles can be observed between rival males, in the course of which both try to drive their opponents away with the mouth tools and to push them off the tree bark or the branch. However, such struggles never end with serious injuries or even the death of the inferior.
- After mating, the female digs deep into the earth and lays the eggs in rotten wood or dying tree roots, which later serve as food for the larvae, which are up to ten centimeters long. Laying eggs can take up to two weeks.
- The larvae transform the dead wood into extremely nutrient-rich mulch in the course of the metabolic processes, but in turn can hardly absorb any nutrients through food, which is why their development takes place very slowly.
- It can take three to seven years for a larva to become a full-grown beetle.
- Stag beetle populations have gradually increased in recent years. Researchers suspect that this is related to climate change.
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