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Photo#23877
Reddish-brown Stag Beetle - Lucanus capreolus - male

Reddish-brown Stag Beetle - Lucanus capreolus - Male
Greenwood County, South Carolina, USA
July 9, 2005
Size: 29mm, head to abdomen
Found at night, attracted to light on the side of my house. I coaxed it off the screen door onto a sheet of paper for photos. It assumed a defensive posture (forelegs extended, emphasizing the mandibles) when I got close to it, and I believe it hissed at me once.

Note that the 29mm measurement does not include the mandibles. The large mandibles should make this a male.

ID based on Patrick's photos in the guide (1) [cite:3110] and it appears to match the illustration in Figure 51 of White (2).

Dorsal view.

Images of this individual: tag all
Reddish-brown Stag Beetle - Lucanus capreolus - male Reddish-brown Stag Beetle - Lucanus capreolus - male

Found one of these just yesterday.
My next door neighbor showed me this same type specimen just yesterday in Massachusetts. They must have a pretty wide range. Out while searching for Cicadas one night, I noticed movement in a hole about the same size holes as cicada nymphs emerge from (3/8 inch diameter) thinking it was a cicada nymph I dug it up and this type of insect was produced. Does anyone know for sure if these beetles burrow in the ground?

 
Emerge
The larva feed in dead logs and stumps - sometimes traveling down into the roots, so I would expect to see them occasionally emerging from the ground out of a root.

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