Stag beetle — an aristocrat among insects

Beetle-deer, or the stag-horned beetle belongs to the family of stag beetles (Lucanidae). It is the largest European beetle of the area insects. Thanks to this unusual and attractive appearance, stag beetles are called "aristocrats" among insects.

3 known subspecies of stag beetles. They differ in size. The length of the smallest representatives of the subspecies does not exceed 3.5 cm. Large stags reach 8 inches in length (of which 2-4 inches falls on a "horn"), females – 4 inches. The British Museum has in its collection a copy with a length of 8.7 cm. In Turkey and Syria meet 10-cm bugs-deer – a record among the stags. We are talking about, so in this story, we start from nominal (i.e., initial open and described) subspecies.

Beetle deer. The author of the photo: Jaroslav Kaas.

The main difference between stag beetles from other beetles the horns of males, which in reality are mutated jaws – mandibles (or mandibles). Their evolutionary modification has occurred, apparently, due to the fact that there was no need for mandibular (masticatory) apparatus, the stag beetle, the male eats only food of plant origin (vegetable juices, nectars, and also by Rosa), and jaws, which the females of the stag and other beetles are chewing function, turned into an instrument of combat and self-defense.

The spread of beetles rosaceabuy stag beetle across Europe. It is found also in Asia and Africa. Prefers oak forests, but in the absence of these lives and in others, but solely deciduous. Pretentiousness is to oak is, first of all, the food preferences of larvae of the stag beetle, the wood of this tree, the period of development of the most short (4-6 years).

Beetle the deer changed their preferences, climbed on a pine branch. Author of the photo: marc_grosskopf.

In the early XX century stags have been around. Now they are endangered and listed in the Red book. This situation is due to sanitary felling carried out by forestry. Remove from the forest of dead wood deprives the beetles places to breed. Another reason for the disappearance of stags – treatment of forests with pesticides. Significantly reduce the number of stag beetles, their natural enemies, which include bats, owls, woodpeckers, crows, jays, rooks. Attack them cats, ants and even soil mites. Passes and people catch them to put in a collection or just to admire.

Food beetles olunacaq we said above, the mandibles are used only for the fights, there is them impossible. So eat the males of stag-beetles drops of dew and tree SAP that lick in place of its outflow. Females also due to its small jaws-Gulam can gnaw through the bark and get to the Goodies – juicy wood, the preference again given to the oak.

Hard to say not knowing the history of this photo, but maybe it's two subspecies of stag beetle in one place — almost a unique case, as the subspecies "deer" due to the habitats, more comfortable, better ride, larger representatives in this area.

Lifestyle routlette stags begin when the sun goes down. After dawn they stop flying and just slowly crawling. In the afternoon, in the rain, in the wind and the cold, the bugs, the deer, inactive. In warmer regions (southern part of the area) sometimes flying even a day.

Take off from a horizontal surface for the stags is often unsuccessful. So basically they fly from tree trunks. Because of the heavy horns flying beetles you have in a vertical position with its horns upwards, so it is easier to keep the balance, otherwise Rog would pull down, and to fly, had the horns down. The males of stag-beetles are able to lift a weight that is a hundred times greater than their own.

A stag beetle before taking off.

Live bugs, the deer, not more than two months, usually may-July.

Reproduction of stag beetle. Stag beetles have well developed sexual dimorphism. Males unlike females have enlarged mandibles. Different beetles and the color of elytra: in females they are brownish-black, and the male is brown with a red tint.

The female stag beetle. Differences from males: the absence of horns and the color of the elytra (much darker, almost black). Author of the photo: Philippe Boissel.

Females attract males with pheromones. Each female collects near itself several males who fight. During the fight, the males become, on two legs and horns trying to throw the opponent from the tree. The female remains with the winner. Mating lasts up to 3 hours.

The stag beetle, male. Author of the photo: ale_beber_origami.

The female lays eggs in dead wood of 20-30 eggs. Each egg she puts in a separate chamber. After a month the eggs hatch, the larvae do not develop beyond 6 weeks.

Beetles stag beetles and forest sentrylink stag beetle live in the trunks of dead trees for food use rotten wood, simultaneously decomposing organic residues. Therefore they are called attendants of the forest. For the decomposition of the wood larvae use of microorganisms living in the intestine as they digest the fiber incapable.

Mandibles, or in this case horns, beetle of the deer. Author of the photo: Armando Caldas.

The larva lives 4-8 years. Its duration of life is increasing under adverse conditions. In spite of his delicate white body Morozov larvae are not afraid of (they can survive 20-degree frosts). But from lack of moisture, they can die.

The larvae communicate with chirping sounds that are published using the tabs located on the feet.

For making the cocoon the larva use wood dust and excrement, that hold the secretions of the salivary glands. The pupa develops for about 3 months. But even becoming adult, the beetle remains in the cocoon. Interestingly, the larvae from which males hatch, prepare themselves a cocoon of large size, to fit future mandibles.

Males of a stag beetle in battle. Probably the fight took place because of the food source, and may be due to females, which is somewhere nearby. Author of the photo: Pietro Monteleone.

The bugs, the deer, and primatiale of the middle ages believed that the bugs, the deer, able to attract lightning. But it is now known that the beetles like to fly around large and old standing trees, and lightning most often it is in these trees and gets.

The sleeping larva of a stag beetle. Author of the photo: Gabriele Motta.

Doll stag beetle male. Already at this stage know who will come out of it on completion of metamorphosis (male or female). Author of the photo: Gabriele Motta.

Because of bugs in the dark are attracted to light, they always flew to the fire, where charcoal burners have made the burning of charcoal. Therefore, there is a belief that the stags carry the fire and set fire to the house.

Stamps of different countries and years of release with a picture of a stag beetle.

The ancient Germans believed stag beetle sacred. And yet, this unusual beetle is the hero of many tales and poems. He is depicted on stamps and even on paintings.

Natalia Chub, Cyril Usanov,




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