Stag Beetle Larva (or grub)
The stag beetle larva is cream
with smooth skin ,a distinct orange head, orange legs and small brown antlers.
It lives in rotten wood, upon which it feeds. It takes up to 6 years to
reach full size (approx. 8 cm)
The cream coloured pupa develops when the larva leaves the wood and makes
a cocoon in the soil. Pupation occurs in late summer and lasts a few weeks.
The now fully grown beetle remains in the cocoon until the following summer
when it emerges, from a hole in the soil, as an adult.
Male stag beetle
(Lynne and Richard Fletcher)
The fully grown male stag beetle flies at
dusk to find a mate . It is up to 9cm long including antlers. It does
not need to feed, but it may feed on sap runs from trees. After mating
the stag beetle dies.
A female stag beetle
The female stag beetle is smaller than the
male (approx. 6cm)and is often seen on the ground looking for somewhere
to lay her eggs.She lays in or near rotten wood then dies shortly after.