Scientific name: Dorcus parallelipipedus
Size: 25 - 32mm long
Distribution: Found in many parts of Britain, especially the southern counties of England
Months seen: May to October. Active at night
Habitat: Woodlands, parks and gardens
Food: Tree sap. The larvae feed on rotting wood
Special features: Lesser Stag Beetles closely resemble female Stag Beetles, but on a smaller scale. The head is much squarer than the larger female stag beetle, and the middle tibia of the rear leg has just one spur. On a female stag beetle there are three.
The body and legs are all black. The antennae are elbowed and the tips are club-shaped.
Lesser stag beetles are nocturnal, and are attracted to lights at night. In the daytime they can be found sheltering amongst rotten wood and leaf litter.
Unlike Stag Beetles which only live as an adult for a few weeks, Lesser Stag Beetles live for at least a year. They spend the winter in a torpid state under bark, or deep in rotting wood.