What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi Bugman,
I read through your website and still am not able to find what this creature is!!! I spent last night surfing the web, trying to find out more information, but still no luck. You’re my last resort, Bugman! My husband and I came home to find 2 of these on our garage floor. It’s by far the largest bug I’ve ever seen! It measures about 1.5 inches long (see picture). I thought it was some sort of beetle or cockroach, but apparently not. My friend did more research and thought it was the (rare?) Stag Beetle. But it doesn’t match the description. We live in Massachusetts. I’m not sure how common this bug is, or if it’s even harmful at all. I know you’re busy right now, what with summer and all, but I’d appreciate any help you can give us! Great website, by the way!
Freaked out in Massachusetts.

Dear Freaked Out,
It is a Stag Beetle. I know there are reddish varieties, but I have only seen black ones. Perhaps the red beetles you found are a subspecies of Pseudoleucanus capreolus. The photos are beautiful. They are not harmful, though can deliver a mild pinch with those formidable jaws on the male beetle. The grubs eat rotting wood. One of the few items in our gift shop right now is a stag beetle t-shirt.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

4 Responses to Stag Beetle

  1. Lori says:

    I live in Western Mass and my yard is full of these. One time there were about a hundred of them on the driveway all at once! One pinched onto my cat’s nose but I was able to remove it with tweezers without harming either the cat or the beetle. They are harmless and actually kind of cool in a way.

    • bugman says:

      Your yard must provide the perfect habitat for Stag Beetles, including rotting stumps for the development of the larvae.

  2. Brett says:

    I heard the sound of a large trapped bug in my light fixture. When we took down the glass light cover from the ceiling fan, we saw this. It froze in place and wouldn’t move. Brought it outside and let it go. I thought for sure it was a June bug, but I guess not. Boylston Massachusetts here.

  3. Kathy says:

    We had one in the house and one in the yard – horrifying- also in Mass.

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