Stag Beetle Lucanus spp.

Common Name: Stag Beetle

Order Name: Coleoptera

Family Name: Lucanidae

The impressive antler-like mandible jaws of this male are used in mating rite battles and are more for show and simply dislodging other males from choice branches than to inflict lethal damage. The shorter female jaws often more capable of inflicting a painful bite. This group can be recognized by elbowed antennae ending with a club. Adults eat leaves and bark. Albrecht D?rer immortalized this beetle in a famous watercolor painting. C-shaped larvae. In Germany, the scarab beetle in the form of a stag beetle was equated as a symbol of Christ. European folklore believed male stag beetles were associated with setting fire to thatched building by transporting burning embers perhaps from their lightning singed oak tree homes. Turkish good luck charms use the male jaws to ward off evil.