Where Do Stag Beetles Live? Can I Find Them Near My Home?

In this article, we will tell you all the places where you can find stag beetles.

Stag beetles(Lucanus Cervus) are a huge family of beetles known for their big mandibles and fascinating appearance.

Since they are rare, it is challenging to spot them in their natural habitats. However, it is not that difficult if you know where to look for.

This article will help you explore the different regions where you can find these great insects.

where do stag beetles live?
Stag Beetle

Are There Stag Beetles In The US?

Yes, the US is a great place to locate stag beetle populations. This place is home to more than 30 different stag beetle species.

Kentucky is the hotspot for these insects. Around two-thirds of the total stag beetles in the US are on the western side.

The US is also the home to the giant stag beetle, considered the largest beetle that dwells around dead wood.

These beetles are also found in Kentucky in great numbers. Out of the 30 species in the US, around 24 of them are found in different regions of North America.

Where Do They Live?

There are 1200 species of stag beetle species scattered throughout the world. As stated in the section above a lot of them are found in the US, with Kentucky having the spotlight.

Stag beetles are also found in the UK. Here they are considered the largest beetle in the region. You will find them in West London, South London, and South East England.

The rainbow stag beetle is one of the most beautiful insects in the entire world.

Earlier, these beetles were endemic to the rainforests of Queensland, Australia but, due to high demand, Japanese collectors started breeding them.

Now a good population has emerged in Japan as well. India is the home to enormous species of stag beetle in the world, the giraffe stag beetle.

stag beetle
Cottonwood Stag Beetle

What Is Their Habitat?

Stag beetles prefer to be in woodlands as it is a great place to find their food source. However, on some occasions, you can find them in urban areas, hedgerows, parks, and gardens.

Places with loose soil and a lot of decaying wood are ideal for the females to lay eggs and for the larvae to survive for years before coming out as adult beetles.

These could include spots with logpiles and playgrounds that have wood chips.

What Do They Eat?

During the larval stage, stag beetles continuously feed on dead wood. They tunnel through decaying wooden logs to find white rot.

During this time, they try to build up high-fat storage in the body. The adult stag beetles usually don’t eat much; they rely on these fat reserves to survive.

In rare cases, they consume tree sap, decaying fruits, and other decaying plant matter.

Reddish Brown Stag Beetle Carnage

What Time of Year Do They Come Out?

The beetle spends most of their lives as larvae living within decaying tree stumps and logs. Usually, the adults start emerging around mid-May, and the process will continue till late July.

Is Stag Beetle Rare?

There are several species of extremely rare stag beetles. For example, the rainbow beetle is only found in Japan and the rainforests of Queensland, Australia.

The Giraffe stag beetle is also rare and is found mostly in India.

Which Species Of Stag Beetles Are Endangered?

Almost all the species of beetles are declining fast due to loss of habitat. You will be surprised to know that all the stag beetle species in the UK are announced as globally threatened species.

They are protected by the government under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Also, the selling of stag beetles is banned from the UK.

How Long Do They Live?

The stag beetle life cycle starts when female stag beetles lay eggs in an underground spot after mating. These spots are usually around rotting wood.

They lay up to 24 eggs at once, and it takes about a month for all of them to hatch.

When the stag beetle larvae emerge, it crawls to the nearest pile of deadwood and starts feeding. They do this for nearly six years.

Reddish Brown Stag Beetle

After gorging on the food all that while, they come out in their true form.

During the last stages of being a larva, they pupate in an outer shell made of mud and chewed wood mixture.

It takes 60 days for the pupation process to complete, and by mid-May, these insects start emerging as adults.

How Long Do They Live in Captivity?

Different species of stag beetles have different life spans. For example, the rainbow stag beetle can survive for 12-18 months in captivity.

The giant stag beetles can live for around 9 months under proper care. To keep them healthy, you must ensure that the living arrangements are proper and you are giving them enough food.

Also, avoid keeping 2 or more adult males in one tank, as they will end up brawling for mating opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do if you see a stag beetle?

If you see a stag beetle, be quiet and enjoy watching it. Do not try to go and touch or pick them up. They have enormous mandibles and strong chewing muscles.
If threatened, they will deliver painful bites which will result in bleeding, irritation, and swelling.

Can a stag beetle hurt you?

Yes, a stag beetle can hurt you by biting. These insects have huge mandibles with strong chewing muscles.
If they bite, you will experience excruciating levels of pain. Thankfully, they are not poisonous. Also, they are non-aggressive and rarely attack humans.

What does it mean when you see a stag beetle?

A stag beetle symbolizes many different ideas across different cultures of the world.
For example, in ancient greek mythology, a stag beetle was always considered the sign of a musician.
The scarab that different European cultures worshipped is actually a stag beetle, and it represents the victory of good or evil.

Why are stag beetles in my home?

Stag beetles are highly attracted to damp wood. If your house has wooden frames, doors, windows, etc that are damp and decaying, it gives an open invitation to these beetles.
If you see them inside your house, search for such spots and replace the wood immediately.

Wrap Up

Stag beetles are one of the most fascinating insects to watch on earth. But sadly, the numbers are decreasing rapidly due to the loss of natural stag beetle habitats and excessive selling.

Due to the drop in populations, it is tough to spot them without knowing where they are found. This article will help you with some stag beetle spottings. Thank you for reading it.


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com 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.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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