|Male- dorsal view- click to enlarge|
My new friend was a male Reddish-brown Stag Beetle (Lucanus capreolus). The prominent sickle shaped mandibles are used by males to fight for the females' favors. Females have small mandibles which are hard to see. The males also have antler-like antennae that are the source of the name capreolus, a Latin word translated "roe deer".
|Male- ventral view|
The adult beetle is nocturnal and feeds on tree sap. The larva feeds on the inner wood of old trees and stumps, living for 2 years before pupating in the soil.
As I was writing this, he appeared to be sleeping or dead in his box, but once I put him on a cutting board he woke up, possibly sensing what a "cutting board" is used for. You can see his response to the touch of a pencil. What he lacks in size, he makes up in attitude as you can see in the video below.
No beetles were harmed in making this blog- he is back in nature, minus my sock.
More pictures at beetleforum.net and a fighting pose is at this link.