Fun Stag Beetle Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Stag Beetle facts for kids are interesting.

The stag beetle is one of more than 1,200 distinct species of beetle native to Europe. Despite the fact that the stag beetle is the largest insect species found in the UK, it has become an increasingly endangered species in most of the country and is now protected in most of its range.

The thick, armored shell of stag beetles protects its body well and is split into three parts to enable the stag beetle to move around quickly.

On summer nights, the male stag beetle flying makes a noise which is their mating call.

A stag beetle can be identified by its unusual flight, which is straight with its wings out behind it, in addition to its size and noise. In wooded areas, you could see female stag beetles scratching on the ground searching for a place to lay their eggs.

Stag beetles look dangerous but in reality, stag beetle bites are absolutely harmless. They favor oak forests, but can also live in parks and garden.

The larvae of stag beetles live in and eat the juices of old trees and deadwood, and they can take up to six years to mature before pupating and developing into adult stag beetles.

Adults comparatively have a shorter life span, they rise purely for breeding and die in August after laying their eggs in a convenient piece of rotting wood.

The complete stag beetle life cycle includes egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages. Read on to know more about the stag beetle.

For more relatable content, check out atlas beetle and click beetle facts.

Stag Beetle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a stag beetle?

A stag beetle is an insect.

What class of animal does a stag beetle belong to?

Stag beetle belongs to the class of Insecta.

How many stag beetles are there in the world?

About 1200 species of stag beetles are there in this world but they are facing a huge habitat loss and as a result, they are nearly endangered species.

Where does a stag beetle live?

The stag beetle is mostly found in deciduous woodlands and forests throughout Europe, especially Southern England, where there is plenty of food and hiding spots for this bug. Stag beetles are also found in parks and gardens, which serve as artificial substitutes for their natural environments.

What is a stag beetle's habitat?

Stag beetles are distributed mostly in the woods of southeast England as well as much of Europe. Their distribution is determined by both climate and soil type since they spend the bulk of their lives underground. Stag beetles are even more common in regions with the least amount of rainfall and the hottest average temperatures.

Who do stag beetles live with?

In the wildlife, stag beetles usually spend three to seven years being a grub living underground and feeding on decaying wood but they do not survive long after mating and dies within weeks. Like any other beetle, they also prefer habitats surrounded by insects.

Stag beetles may live in areas under the soil, in water, or in the nests of social insects like ants and termites.

How long does a stag beetle live?

A stag beetle lifespan is up to seven years from a larva to an adult. The majority of their life is spent underground in the form of stag beetle larvae, feeding on decaying wood and once they emerge as adults, they only survive for a few weeks after mating and usually die during the winter.

How do they reproduce?

During the hot temperature, at dusk, male stag beetles can be seen wandering around looking for a partner. Using their swollen antler-like pincers, they grapple or attack other male stag beetles and attract prospective partners with their massive mandibles.

The females will leave after mating to seek out some deadwood, where she will dig her way beneath the ground and lay up to 21 eggs.

In the summer, the female stag beetles lay eggs are they hatch into larvae that will stay underground, feasting on rotting wood and losing their skin five times before pupating. A larva will cocoon until it is ready to mature before emerging as an adult in May.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of stag beetles is listed as Not Extinct, but in the United Kingdom, stag beetles are prohibited from being sold.

Stag beetles are also classified on Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as a 'priority species' which means they are highly endangered species. Many European countries have red-listed these majestic stag beetles, which have seen a fall across the continent due to loss of habitat.

Stag beetles have become extinct in Denmark and Latvia, while on one site in Denmark, they were successfully reintroduced in 2013.

Stag Beetle Fun Facts

What do stag beetles look like?

Stag beetle wings are chestnut brown in color and they have a glossy black head and thorax along with hard well-protected shells.

The antlers of male beetles tend to be enormous which are basically mandibles that are too heavy and they range between 35-75 mm in length, while female stag beetles are smaller, somewhere between 30-50 mm in length, and with smaller mandibles.

There are specific types of stag beetle that are called the Rainbow colored stag beetle and Cottonwood stag beetle.

The interesting Rainbow stag beetle facts and Cottonwood stag beetle facts have a unique color with a metallic body that changes when you look at it from different angles as well as in a different light and the latter is a reddish-brown stag beetle.

Another rare type is the unique Golden stag beetle which is the most expensive beetle because of its beautiful gold color.

How cute are they?

Although due to the fierce-looking large antlers stag beetles look dangerous, they are actually very cute and a special visitor to have in your garden.

How do they communicate?

According to the studies, the larvae make gurgling noises known as 'stridulation,' which are thought to be a means of communication.

How big is a stag beetle?

Fully grown adult stag beetles are0.3-1.6 in (40 mm) long which is almost four times smaller than the East Indian Odontolabis alce.

How much can a stag beetle lift?

Male stag beetles vigorously lift their opponents whose weight may be quite large, maybe more than their own, and they do so at an unwieldy distance from their own body center of mass.

How much does a stag beetle weigh?

A standard stag beetle larva weighs 0.1-0.5 g.

What are their male and female names of the species?

A male stag beetle and a female stag beetle do not have any distinguished names.

What would you call a baby stag beetle?

The baby stage of these species of stag beetle is called a larva which will turn into a cocoon and undergo the process of metamorphosis. The stag beetle larvae eat on decaying wood and rotten leaves under the soil and the adult stag beetle feed on this stored fat.

When the stag beetle larvae emerge, they chew their way into the tree and feed on the rotting wood's juices.

What do they eat?

The stag beetle larva feeds on dead wood for several years as it rises and matures before eventually evolving into an adult beetle, where it can be found in tree stumps and decaying roots. Adults can't eat solid food, so they depend on stored fat built up during their larval growth.

They will drink sap runs, nectar, and soft and tender fruit that has fallen to the ground with their feathery tongue.

Are they poisonous?

The formidable jaws of male stag beetles are only used to grapple other male stag beetles in order to impress females before mating. They aren't harmful but if you pick up a female stag beetle, she might sting you, but this is extremely rare and also the stag beetle bite is not at all poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

The larvae are very helpful as they eat decaying wood instead of living plants and shrubs. In Japan, the stag beetle pet is very popular.

Did you know…

One of the lesser stag beetle facts known to people is the story of the British mythology where stag beetles caused thunder and lightning strikes, terrifying ancient peasants who often claimed they flew about with hot coals in their jaws, igniting houses. Billywitches, oak-ox, thunder-beetle, and horse-pincher were all names given to stag beetles.

The largest stag beetle is called the Giraffe stag beetle with very long and sharp jaws that covers almost half their body size.

What sound does a stag beetle make?

The larvae of a stag beetle make short and snapping sounds.

Stag beetle care

If you come across stag beetles in the wildlife or in your garden, leave them alone. Since certain Australian stag beetles are endangered species, it's critical that we allow them to reproduce in their natural habitat.

The most critical issue faced by stag beetles is the scarcity of deadwood to lay their eggs and also feed the young larvae. In your garden, plant a few nearby deciduous trees. Stag beetles would be healthier if there are more layers of leaves.

Stag beetles, as well as a variety of other related species, are often found in Japanese homes and garden centers. Over the summer, when they are in season, it is typically much easier to find a Japanese stag beetle in supermarkets.

Stag beetles' price ranges between $2.7-$18.3.

Once you bring a stag beetle home, put it inside a spacious case and put some dirt and dry leaves, log on its floor. Stag beetles are prone to dehydration.

To keep the insect bedding damp, use a store-bought spray that is beetle-specific for these species to not die of thirst. These species should be kept in a shaded area with no direct sunlight.

While feeding your pet stag beetles, place the branches and the food inside and put the jelly on a food plate to keep it from getting sticky on the bedding.

Be sure to replace the food on a daily basis, preferably in the evening, to ensure that these nocturnal species have fresh food when he awakens. Fruits like bananas and apples are also favorites of this species of stag beetles.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including water beetle, or darkling beetle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our stag beetle coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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