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Insect Week returns in 2022

Stag beetle

Lucanus cervus – (family Lucanidae)

The male stag beetle – with its huge antler-like mandibles that are used in fights with other males – is the largest British land beetle. The larvae feed on decaying wood and their development takes up to five years. Due to overzealous clearance of dead wood their numbers have declined greatly and the stag beetle is now a protected species. It is still found in several parts of southern England, where it is increasingly dependent on habitat conservation in gardens and parks.

For more information, see the PTES’s Biodiversity Action Plan for stag beetles Great Stag Hunt.

Did you know?


Female water snipe flies Atherix ibis clasp each other and cluster in big round aggregations on the end of branches overhanging rivers – males entering the swarms are mated repeatedly until they die. The females then lay their eggs in to the water – and all die still in their tight aggregations.