Stag beetles

Male and Female Stag Beetles by PTES

Male & Female Stag Beetles by PTES

Each year we feature the magnificent Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus) as our Species of the Month throughout June – Stag Beetles are one of the iWatch Wildlife flagship species.

We know that IW populations of Stag Beetle are very localised, therefore you are most likely to encounter one in the North Coastal parts of the Island – mainly Yarmouth, Cowes, East Cowes, Ryde and Bembridge.

Females can sometime be confused with the smaller Lesser Stag Beetle, so be sure to take a picture and we can help confirm the ID.

Female Stag Beetle by Scott Newman / Male Stag Beetle by Tina Whitmore / Male Stag Beetle by Rachel Hibberd

Female Stag Beetle by Scott Newman


About Stag Beetles….
They are one of the most spectacular looking insects in Britain, named because the male’s large jaws (mandibles) that look just like the antlers of a stag. Stag Beetles are nationally scarce.

One of the reasons for their decline is our general tendency to ‘tidy up’ dead or rotting wood, timber and green spaces. As places for them to shelter are lost or become isolated, fewer suitable habitats for stag beetles to exist.

They spend the majority of their life underground as larvae feeding on decaying wood (they do not damage living wood or timber) then emerge as adults in late Spring to reproduce. By the end of August, most will have died.

Good to know….
– they often emerge on warm, still Summer nights
– they can fly (badly!)
– they are harmless to humans
– if you find an adult stag beetle, please leave it where it is, unless it is in danger of being run over or trampled in which case, move it carefully to a safe place nearby.

More info here:

If you spot a Stag Beetle:

Tag @iWatchWildlife into any social media posts / comments or contact us directly so we can make a permanent county record for the IW species records database.

We need the Recorder’s name, the date and location of the observation along with a photo so the record can be verified.

We then collate and share IW records with the People’s Trust for Endangered Species who run the national Great Stag Hunt survey – no need to do it twice, we’ll do that for you!