Stag Beetle Lucanus spp.
Beetles represent the largest Order of insects, containing over 250,000 described species. Beetle groups include tiger beetles, ground beetles, water beetles, whirligig beetles, fungus beetles, rove beetles, stag beetles, scarab beetles, wood-boring beetles, click beetles, fireflies, dermestids, ladybird beetles, darkling beetles, longhorn beetles, blister beetles, leaf beetles, weevils and many others.
The impressive antler-like mandible jaws of this male are used in mating rite battles and are more for show and simply dislodging other males from choice branches than to inflict lethal damage. The shorter female jaws often more capable of inflicting a painful bite. This group can be recognized by elbowed antennae ending with a club. Adults eat leaves and bark. Albrecht D?rer immortalized this beetle in a famous watercolor painting. C-shaped larvae. In Germany, the scarab beetle in the form of a stag beetle was equated as a symbol of Christ. European folklore believed male stag beetles were associated with setting fire to thatched building by transporting burning embers perhaps from their lightning singed oak tree homes. Turkish good luck charms use the male jaws to ward off evil.