Random Insect: Male stag beetle

Male stag beetle (Coleoptera: Lucanidae: Ceruchus piceus) photographed 07/23/2012 at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin.

In late July I hiked the Lakeshore Trail at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin. One of the many insects I found while in that section of the North Woods was this male stag beetle (Coleoptera: Lucanidae: Ceruchus piceus). Beetles in this family are most often found in wooded areas. Larvae feed on decaying wood, and adults feed on plant sap and fruit juices. This particular species is distributed throughout the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada.

The males of many species of stag beetles have enlarged mandibles as seen here. The common name comes from the resemblance the big, branched mandibles have to the antlers of deer. As with deer, male stag beetles use these features for fighting with each other.


About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Entomology, National Parks, Random Insect and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Random Insect: Male stag beetle

  1. I haven’t yet found a range map for this beetle, but I remember a type of stag beetle from my Maryland childhood. They could grow to 2 or more inches in length. I remember as a child experiencing a numinous sort of awe and wonder when coming upon one. Such beautiful creatures they are. I live in northern Minnesota and have not seen one since coming to this state. I am glad to hear there are some living not too far from here. . .


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