Lucanus capreolus

Reddish-Brown Stag Beetle

Lucanus capreolus, Reddish-Brown Stag Beetle photo`

Family: Lucanidae

Subfamily: Lucaninae

Length: 23-37 mm


This widespread species ranges from Ontario and Quebec to South Carolina, and west to Oklahoma and Nebraska.

The range of Lucanus capreolus in West Virginia is less well-studied, but the beetle does seem to be fairly common in many areas of the state.

Lucanus capreolus image, dorsal view

Left: In this species the femora are tan.

In this major male (shown here and above), the mandibles are longer than the head. Smaller males have mandibles that are smaller in comparison with the head. The small mandibles of females arent readily noticeable except on close examination.

When confronted by people, the male beetles may rear back their heads and open their mandibles, but actually these pincers are capable of little more than a very mild nip to a human.

Male Reddish-Brown Stag Beetles fight with other males of their species over females.

These adult beetles are nocturnal and feed on tree sap. They are also attracted to lights. The larvae feed on the decaying wood of tree stumps and fallen logs.

Insects of West Virginia