Lesser stag beetle

Lesser stag beetle ©Wendy Carter

Lesser stag beetle

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Scientific name: Dorcus parallelipipedus
The lesser stag beetle may be smaller than its famous cousin, but it is still a large beetle with large jaws. It can be seen in woods, parks and hedgerows during summer, and depends on dead wood.

Top facts

Stats

Length: up to 3cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

May to September

About

The lesser stag beetle may be smaller than its famous cousin, but it is still a relatively large beetle with large jaws. Adults can be found in woodland, parkland and hedgerows during the summer; they can often be seen resting in the sun on tree trunks. The larvae depend on old trees and rotting wood to live in and feed on, and both adults and larvae can be found in the decaying wood of ash, common beech and apple. The adults can be seen flying about at night, sometimes coming to outside lights. They mate and lay their eggs in a suitable piece of decaying wood.

What to look for

The lesser stag beetle is a large beetle with a broad head and large mandibles. It can be distinguished from the male stag beetle by its smaller jaws and distinctively knobbed antennae, and from the small-jawed female stag beetle by its all-black wing cases.

Where to find

Found throughout England and Wales.

Did you know?

Sometimes mistaken for the rarer and larger stag beetle.