Stag Beetle

This magnificent beetle is Britain’s largest and is, sadly, quite scarce now. The male’s huge ‘antlers’ are in fact overgrown mandibles (jaws) for courtship display and are generally too large and unwieldy for the beetle to be able to bite with them. They live as larvae (grubs) underground for three to seven years before emerging as adults for just one summer. The larvae feed on rotting wood and are one of nature’s important decomposers. Here at Welly, piles of logs are left in the woodland for Stag Beetles and other decomposers.

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