Lesser Stag Andy
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Prim

Lesser Stag Beetle

(Dorcus Parallelipipedus)

The Adults can be seen from May to October and lay their eggs in rotten wood of deciduous trees. Males have larger mandibles with distinctly knobbed antennae. Adult beetles fly on summer evenings also active at night. I have often photographed the adult beetles on summer afternoons resting in sunny areas common in the UK.

I am quite fond of this beetle it probably could give you a nip especially the female but I have always found them to be very docile when handled carefully. Much smaller than its larger cousin but still quite large up to 32mm long with large jaws. I have found them hiding under logs and tree stumps.  The stag beetle above was found on a summers evening resting on a wooden fence post along side of a field. On one occasion in the New Forest in Hampshire I could hear a loud cracking sound coming from a large tree stump after investigating I found it was a Lesser Stag Beetle trying to emerging from the tree stump from which it lived as larvae. The wood was very hard and all I could see was its eye and antennae sticking out of a hole and one of its mandibles chewing the wood to release itself it did show how strong these beetles are and I did film the beetle at the time.