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beetle Lesser Stag Beetles

Identify It >   Invertebrates Section >   Beetle Section >   Lesser Stag Beetles >

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.

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