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Photo#5471
Reddish-brown Stag Beetle - Lucanus capreolus - female

Reddish-brown Stag Beetle - Lucanus capreolus - Female
Durham County, North Carolina, USA
July 30, 2004
Found at a light. Chilled and posed. This appears to be a female, based on the small size of the jaws. This is a presumption. I know that in many of the horned scarabs, there are "major" and "minor" males. The minors have small jaws, like a female, and attempt to sneak matings, basically, masquerading as females. (I need to find the reference on this!) The same thing could be true in stag beetles, which are close relatives of the scarabs.

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Reddish-brown Stag Beetle - Lucanus capreolus - female Reddish-brown Stag Beetle - Lucanus capreolus - female Reddish-brown Stag Beetle - Lucanus capreolus - female

Sneaker males
Interesting that you mention this.
Many, many years ago, I drew a beetle for a class in life sciences illustration. I had collected the specimen in Malaysia in the 70s.
ABT Cover
Checking on an ID, my entomology prof from college mentioned the family, but said it would be impossible to tell the sex because it could be a female or a sneaker male.
The sneaker male phenomenon occurs in many taxa, with varying degrees of behavioral and/or morphological differences between males. You can google "alternative reproductive strategies."
I think the "alternative" is a bit off, as this "strategy" occurs so often.

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