Subject:  What’s this beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Minnesota
Date: 06/08/2018
Time: 09:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you tell me what these are and why they are borrowing into the ground at my oak tree? There’s a bunch of them!
How you want your letter signed:  Brian

Stag Beetles Emerging after Metamorphosis

Dear Brian,
We wish you had more clarity in your amazing image of what we believe to be Stag Beetles emerging from the ground after metamorphosis, because we would like to be able to see details in the antennae.  We suspect your Stag Beetles are Lucanus placidus based on an image on The University of Minnesota Yard and Garden News page where it states:  “People have been finding stag beetles in their yards and gardens recently, sometimes in large numbers. Also known as pinching bugs, these beetles typically measure a little more than one inch in size and are reddish brown to dark brown in color. Stag beetles resemble June beetles but have more prominent heads. The mandibles (jaws) of both sexes are also large and conspicuous, especially those of males. Stag beetles have short antennae with conspicuous asymmetrical plates (lobes) at the end of them which they are not able to close together. One of the most common species in Minnesota is Lucanus placidusAll stag beetle larvae feed in dead or decaying wood, such as logs and stumps. Most adults emerge in May or June and feed on sap that exudes from plants. Stag beetles are active at night and are often attracted to lights. They can fly into a yard, land on the ground and remain there until the following morning. Some people have observed stag beetles emerging from the ground. This indicates that there are some old roots or other buried decaying wood where the larvae were feeding and developing.  Although a lot of stag beetles in a yard is annoying, they are harmless to people and property. Do not spray stag beetles, their control isn’t necessary. Just ignore them until they go away on their own.”  Elsewhere on the University of Minnesota site it states:  “Beneficial as a recycler of decaying wood; does not harm people or damage turf or trees.”  

Stag Beetles

Thank you for your response! I appreciate it. 
Brian Norby
Location: Minnesota

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