This female L. elaphus was found under a light, about 10:00 p.m. This photo shows the remarkable defensive posture taken by the beetle as I placed it on a foam rubber pad (gently) for photography.
Length, excluding mandibles, was measured at about 30 mm, including mandibles it was about 34 mm. Female of this species is similar to Lucanus (Pseudolucanus) capreolus
. It can be told apart by the dark femora, the multiple teeth on jaws, and the very smooth, not punctate, pronotum. Note also the rather pointed labrum, which is more rounded in Lucanus capreolus
(see comments below). Compare this female Lucanus capreoulus
Released in suitable habitat after this photo session.