Name that Beetle
Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 6:11 PM
I was at work and took a picture of this beetle on the wall. I have been looking on the internet and have not been able to identify it, yet. Any ideas?
Chris Bullard
Wilson, NC

Giant Stag Beetle

Male Giant Stag Beetle

Hi Chris,
The Giant Stag Beetle, Lucanus elaphus, might well be the most strikingly unusual of the wealth of North American Beetles. Your beetle is a male, and male Giant Stag Beetles use those formidable mandibles to compete for mates.
Update: 30 June 2009
Since it is time to select a new Bug of the Month, and since there were two images of male Giant Stag Beetles submitted in late June, we thought this might mean there would be several more sightings in coming weeks. This was a very difficult decision as there are many worthy candidates for the Bug of the Month honors, but beetles and moths are probably our most common summer identification requests. The Giant Stag Beetle, according to BugGuide, may be in need of conservation. BugGuide also indicates: “Food Adults may feed on plant juices, rotting fruit (?), and aphid honeydew.
Life Cycle Eggs are laid in crevices of moist, decaying wood. Larvae feed on decaying logs, stumps, where adults can be found in spring, early summer. (Presumably males battle there.) Larvae take one or more years to develop. Adults can be found at lights in early summer. Adults live two or more years, but one generation per year. ” Almost all sightings submitted to BugGuide have been in June, but there are some July sightings indicated as well.

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