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Lesser Stag Beetle (Dorcus parallelipipedus)

The lesser stag beetle is a stag beetle found throughout Britain. These beetles are closely related to the North American antelope beetle. Both sexes of this beetle resemble the female stag beetle, but for the color, as they are entirely black sans the chestnut brown on their elytra, unlike the latter. They even show many visible physical differences that distinguish them from the male stag beetles, one being their small-sized jaws.

Lesser Stag Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Lucanidae
  • Genus: Dorcus
  • Scientific name: Dorcus parallelipipedus

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 18 to 32 mm (0.7 to 1.3 in)

Color: They are uniformly blackish.

Other physical features: These beetles have a broad head and thick mandibles. They exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males having larger jaws and a distinctly knobbed antenna than their female counterparts.

Female Lesser Stag Beetle
Lesser Stag Beetle Male

Larva

The larvae are white and shaped like the letter C. They have an orange head.

Lesser Stag Beetle Larvae

Pupa

Pupation takes place in harder parts of the wood.

Lesser Stag Beetle Pupa

Egg

The females lay their eggs in wood and tree stumps.

Quick facts

LifespanUp to 2 years
DistributionEngland
HabitatGardens having large trees, hedges and orchards
Host PlantsAsh, common beech, and apple
Seasons activeSummer
Diet of larvae and adultsDead wood

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

The lesser stag beetles are generally harmless, but they can pinch someone with their mandibles if disturbed. They cause no damage to plants or fresh wood since they only attack the dead ones.

Did You Know

  • They disperse by flying and will sometimes hover near outside lights.
Dorcus parallelipipedus

Image Source: warehouse1.indicia.org.uk, en-academic.com, justthesam.com, brc.ac.uk, biolib.cz, alchetron.com

The lesser stag beetle is a stag beetle found throughout Britain. These beetles are closely related to the North American antelope beetle. Both sexes of this beetle resemble the female stag beetle, but for the color, as they are entirely black sans the chestnut brown on their elytra, unlike the latter. They even show many visible physical differences that distinguish them from the male stag beetles, one being their small-sized jaws.

Lesser Stag Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 18 to 32 mm (0.7 to 1.3 in)

Color: They are uniformly blackish.

Other physical features: These beetles have a broad head and thick mandibles. They exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males having larger jaws and a distinctly knobbed antenna than their female counterparts.

Female Lesser Stag Beetle
Lesser Stag Beetle Male

Larva

The larvae are white and shaped like the letter C. They have an orange head.

Lesser Stag Beetle Larvae

Pupa

Pupation takes place in harder parts of the wood.

Lesser Stag Beetle Pupa

Egg

The females lay their eggs in wood and tree stumps.

Quick facts

LifespanUp to 2 years
DistributionEngland
HabitatGardens having large trees, hedges and orchards
Host PlantsAsh, common beech, and apple
Seasons activeSummer
Diet of larvae and adultsDead wood

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

The lesser stag beetles are generally harmless, but they can pinch someone with their mandibles if disturbed. They cause no damage to plants or fresh wood since they only attack the dead ones.

Did You Know

  • They disperse by flying and will sometimes hover near outside lights.
Dorcus parallelipipedus

Image Source: warehouse1.indicia.org.uk, en-academic.com, justthesam.com, brc.ac.uk, biolib.cz, alchetron.com

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