Male stag beetle (c) Kerry Mellor

Stag beetles

Stag beetles are a particularly impressive, even fearsome sight. The males of most species sport large, branching jaws that resemble antlers on a deer and give them their name. These jaws are used for fighting and wrestling with other males over territories and food. The females' mandibles are usually less showy and grand. There are around 1,200 species in this beetle family worldwide, with some species reaching a respectable 12cm in length. The larvae of the majority feed on rotting wood.

Scientific name: Lucanidae

Rank: Family

Watch video clips from past programmes (5 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.


The Stag beetles can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, Australia, China, Europe, North America, Russia, South America, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

BBC News about Stag beetles

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.