Male Reddish Brown Stag Beetle

Subject: Big red bug
Location: Southwestern NJ
July 5, 2013 9:59 pm
Found this imposing looking bug on my kitchen screen door. Didn’t seem aggressive, but those pincers look like they hurt! Should I move and concede the territory?
Signature: Mel

Reddish Brown Stag Beetle
Male Reddish Brown Stag Beetle

Dear Mel,
In our opinion, you should not move and concede the territory because of your encounter with this male Reddish Brown Stag Beetle,
Lucanus capreolus.  Females have smaller mandibles.  Stag Beetles will use their mandibles to defend themselves, but as you observed, Stag Beetles are not aggressive, nor are they dangerous.  They are attracted to lights, which probably explains its presence on the screen door.

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BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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