I’ve pored over your 19 pages of beetles, (with many pauses for distraction by fascinating photos & letters) But haven’t been able to identify this big shiny smooth black beetle. The closest match seemed to be a Bess Beetle, but the proportions don’t seem right. and ours don’t have the lines running along the back. The photo was taken at night, with a flash. Sorry it lacks detail. They’re very glossy black, we see them here at our house in Minneapolis on June / July nights when they visit our front door screen (Under a porch light) some times 2 or 3 of them at a time. They are slow moving, they rise up into an aggressive posture when disturbed. One time I found one with its feet up floating in a bowl of water, not moving. I brought it inside and left it in a tray on the counter and after 3-4-days of "Death" it came out of whatever suspended state it was in and began to walk around. We decided we like them better outside than in! Thanks for your help!
Dave Ahl

Hi Dave,
We admire anyone who will pour over all nineteen of our beetle pages in an effort to identify a mysterious visitor befor writing to us. This is a female Ox beetle in the tribe Oryctini. We are not certain if it is in the genus Xyloryctes or the genus Strategus. Perhaps Eric Eaton can provide the answser for us.

The image is of a stag beetle, Lucanus placidus. In your defense, that is one awkward angle to make any kind of identification from! The entire head of the animal is virtually undefined. It took me a bit to see that the antennae were ‘wrong’ for a scarab….More images and information can be found at Bugguide (or I would not have been able to reach a proper conclusion myself!). One other clue was the behavior described: “rearing up” is classic for stag beetles, almost unheard of in scarabs.

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